Release Date: July 8th 2016
Reviewed by: Jonathan Andre
- We are New
- Never Go Back
- Home (feat. Jeremy Camp)
- How Great
- Heaven’s Shore
Since releasing his debut BEC Recordings album The Rescue in 2012, singer/songwriter/worship leader Adam Cappa’s life has been a rollercoaster. Since The Rescue’s positive response, Adam has become a father, gotten married, and has now released another project independently since parting ways at BEC Recordings. Now 4 years older and wiser, Adam’s new EP is a must have if you enjoyed his album previously, or if you enjoy other similar artists like Matthew West or Jeremy Camp. While there is a stylistic shift when comparing this EP to his previous album (Never Go Back is much more polished and refined, bringing to us dance-electronic music undertones), Adam continues to deliver poignancy and heartfelt moments of encouragement as this 6 song EP, as under-the-radar as it was (I only learned a few days ago that Adam even had a new EP out), becomes one of my favourites in the latter half of 2016. With the central theme around the EP being that of how we are new creations in Christ and that we are always longing for our forever home (with Jesus in Heaven) as we live out our days desperate to be more and more like Him; Adam’s wider experimentation from pop to electronic has paid off, and for an indie artist, his music and passion is one to savour and ought not to be overlooked.
The first radio single from the EP, “Home” is a light acoustically driven duo with respected CCM artist Jeremy Camp. With his whole debut album co-written with Jeremy, it’s no wonder to see Adam’s mentor singing on one track at least on Never Go Back. While the title gives us a song that seems to be simplistic from an outsider’s point of view, what we hear from this 3:07 track is one of hope, comfort and solace as Adam fervently declares that where Christ is, is where our home is at. And with a chorus that asserts the truth that ‘…You’re the shelter I seek, in the middle of the storm, You’re the refuge I take, when I can’t take anymore…You’re my sanctuary Lord, You are my home…’, I can’t help but enjoy a song that has quickly become one of my favourite CCM/pop tracks over the last few months. The title track, “Never Go Back” is another CCM-esque track as Adam relays the message of never going back to who we were before we found Christ, as we realise that once we have been changed by our Saviour, it ought not to be in our nature to travel back to the days when we were carefree and reckless. Similar thematically to Holly Starr’s “Never Going Back”, it is the strong drum beats and Adam’s powerful voice that makes me enjoy the song and the EP as a whole. Adam gives us a great reason to declare alongside him through the song’s bridge, as he reminds us all that ‘…I was a captive, held up and hopeless, but now adopted by Your blood, I am a product of Your redemption, of Your forgiveness, of Your love…’, one of the many reasons why the title track is a standout of mine on the EP!
Throughout the rest of the EP, Adam relays a myriad of themes of heartfelt promises as this EP becomes a catalyst for many who long for a peace and hope they may not have felt for a long time. “We are New” trades in the pop/acoustic flair and undertones the song with a dance loop- something Adam hasn’t done in his career thus far. While at times I felt the song in and of itself was a tad busy, Adam nevertheless presents to us a theme of us being new in Christ, and that and that alone ought to be a great impetus for this song to carry on the airwaves both now and into the future. “How Great” stands at 3:16 and carries the theme of us being in wonder and marvelling at the fact that God is as great as He says He is, and is a quasi-throwback to the ever beloved hymn “How Great Thou Art”, while “Desperate” presents to us some electronic keyboard prominent instrumentation a la Japanese influence, as Adam shows us a theme of us being desperate for God and never losing the enthusiasm, heart and zeal for our Father. The hymn-like “Heaven’s Shore” ends the EP, and is something that an artist like Erik Nieder would sing, as Adam reminds us all in a timely fashion, that we as Christians ought to always fix our eyes on our Father. A great end to a great EP, “Heaven’s Shore” encourages us to always stay steadfast, to never lose focus and to always have the fire in us as we long for heaven ourselves.
With every song on his debut album co-written with Jeremy Camp, Adam’s heart for delivering songs that are unique, fresh and encouraging is ever so evident in this EP, even if every song may not have been written by Jeremy. Nevertheless, Adam’s presence in the ever expanding CCM industry is a major assert, as his fresh approach of marrying pop and electronic music will I’m sure work for fans of Adam Cappa’s previous work, Jeremy Camp, and listeners of both CCM and electronic music. His honest portrayal of brokenness and healing in Christ has me standing and applauding his mature writing beyond his 30 years. We are all on a search and journey to find the missing piece to the puzzle, the answer to all the questions stirring inside of us. As I listen to this collection of 6 emotive songs, I am convinced that Jesus is the answer, no matter how cliché that sounds. This is an EP of clichés and other out-of-left-field moments, and will be an album to savour for the months and years to come.
3 songs to listen to: Home, How Great, Heaven’s Shore
RIYL: Matthew West, Jeremy Camp, Newsboys, Casting Crowns