Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Good Monsters

Jars Of Clay
"Good Monsters"

Jars of Clay is coming out with guns blazing on their new album Good Monsters. I've always seen them as a band with a lot of potential. There was the debut album that made it big back in the mid 90's. But since then, I felt like there was something missing in their sound. I couldn't pinpoint it. They're not a hard rock band, so for them to try and go that route would have been strange. And at the same time, they're not a pop group, so they wouldn't fit well in that genre either. So what's a band to do? I think the new wave of experimental bands (The Killers, Mutemath, Franz Ferdinand, etc...) opened the door for Jars to come out and really show their hidden weapons. I've always respected the transparency in their lyrics, especially as Christians, when most people just want to hear happy-clappy songs. Lyrically, they still maintain that honesty about themselves. They titled the album Good Monsters, reflecting the "monsters" that each one of us has within. The wicked monster and the good monster. And the struggles that go on inside us while those two are at war. Some standout tracks are Work, Dead Man (Carry Me) and Good Monsters, which have a Brit rock influence that shows the band's versatility. Then there's the slower track Oh My God, which lyrically resembles a cry from the book of Psalms, about the injustices in the world, and crying out "Oh my God" in the chorus.

Sometimes when I lose my grip,
I wonder what to make of heaven
All the times I thought to reach up
All the times I had to give
Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children - this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers - this is our greatest offense
Oh my God

There's a new horizon ahead for Jars of Clay. Good Monsters gives us a glimpse of where they're headed.

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