Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jars of Clay Closer EP SpeaksTo A Different Era of Christian Music

Christian music can be laughable. Millions of people dismiss it. I don’t. I don’t dismiss anything, I love music, and if it’s defined as “Christian” so what? I want to hear whatever the musicians have to say, and play with. Plus, if they truly praise the “creator of music” wouldn’t they have some incredible tracks? Whatever the case is, I have always had a love and hate relationship with Jars of Clay. They put out some amazing records, then put out some things that didn’t really hit me as hard. The band put out one of the best records ever with “The Long Fall Back To Earth”. That thing is a stellar record that is deeper than the genre, and absolutely worth everyone’s attention. They really broke through with that, and have evolved as artists. With the “Closer EP”, they put out a taste of past and present, and really positioned themselves with a taste of their full length.

Usually, when you get the EP ahead of the LP, you end up with 4 or 5 songs that are supposed to make you excited about the forthcoming record. That’s what happened with this “Closer EP”. When I got my grubby hands on it, I found myself enthralled with the musical elements. 2008, wasn’t my best year. This record really had me falling in love with the Seattle weather. I was walking to work at the time, and I loved every minute of the contemplation that I had back then. I had a rocky marriage, battled depression, and was in a job that I both loved and hated. But this record and the songs really spoke to me at a point when I needed to hear the voice of a friend.

I didn’t get that voice. But the songs here represented a new hope for the time. Going back now to review and listen once again, I find myself in the same category sometimes. Sometimes I’m low. Sometimes I feel like there is no hope, but there is still something in me that is lit. Perhaps a small fire, or perhaps I’m reminiscent of the glory days of being in Seattle. I don’t know.

Suffice to say, “Closer”, “Safe to Land”, “Love Song For A Savior”, “Flood (New Rain”, and “Prisoner of Hope”, play past and present into a world that the band has definitely done well with. The songs feel whole, like a winter’s embrace. They are fascinating to dissect, and a thrill to listen to with new skin. I suggest picking up Jars of Clay “Closer EP” for a taste of what the band has done, and if you want more, explore it with your preferred medium.

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