REVIEW: Jars of Clay ready to serve new project on silver platter

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)--There are a few names in Christian music today that I have come to love and respect and one of those is Jars of Clay.

Since their double-platinum debut release of Jars of Clay in 1995, they have sold over 5 million records, have had 13 number one radio hits, and been on the receiving end of twenty-two Dove Award nominations and two Grammy awards.

Now, 8 years later and three albums greater, the quartet is releasing their newest project, The Eleventh Hour. It is set to hit stores March 5, and with great anticipation.

Jars of Clay is definitely up to par on this album. Everything we know to be true of Jars of Clay from previous projects has continued in The Eleventh Hour, from fun and infectious pop melodies to overwhelming lyrics.

The band really wanted to return to its roots and create something that carried its definitive signature. To accomplish this, they decided to produce their new album themselves, the first time they have done so since their self-titled recording in 1995.

"We have learned a great deal from the talented producers we have worked with over the last eight years," said acoustic guitarist Matt Odmark in a press release. "It has taken us a long time to come to terms and not be overwhelmed by the thought of producing our own records, but we believed it was time to make a record without filtering our ideas and molding our music into some other producer's vision. It was time to get back to the root of what makes Jars of Clay a powerful band."

The result -- a great, emotionally charged and organic album full of passion and joy.

The only drawback that comes to mind is that there are no rockers such as "Flood" on this collection. However, the upbeat anthems like "Revolution" and "Disappear" make up for the loss.

The writing is marvelous. Along with producing the recording, Jars decided to write all of the songs this time around as well. Their skill with the pen shines through in each song with spiritually mature lyrics.

"When you listen to this record, I hope you don't hear the noisy vocabulary of religion," Odmark said. "I hope you hear music that is because of faith rather than about it. I hope you hear our lives in each and every note, sound and lyric. I hope you hear the joy and the heartbreak of friends wrestling to sing in harmony, not perfectly, but believably. I hope this collection of songs will remind you how to believe."

The Eleventh Hour offers everything you could imagine from one of contemporary Christian music's most inspiring artists. It contains all that we love about Jars of Clay and serves it on a silver platter.


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