Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Jars of Clay|
Who We Are Instead
Genres: Blues, Pop, Rock, Christian
Listen to Samples
Similarly Requested CDs
Rewards repeated listening
Jay Gambol | Manila, Philippines | 11/18/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Just when I think I know Jars, they throw me a curve. Loving the rock-heavy Eleventh Hour, I was shocked by Who We Are Instead and its venture into roots music and its offshoots country, bluegrass, gospel, and soul. I stuck with it, though, and the album rewarded me richly.Opener "Sunny Days" with its crisp opening guitar riff and catchy chorus will ring in my head for days, while "Lesser Things" persists in the mind with its images of despair and its plaintive refrain-in two-step. "I'm In The Way", one of several with drums by Wilco's Ken Coomer, deserves airplay as much as the weaker single "Show You Love." Coming right after it, "Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet" is a wicked contrast, with only two lines repeated over and over. U2 is apparent in the sweeping "Sing", as are shades of David Gray in the fierce and delicate finale "My Heavenly." Weaker but still-appealing tracks include Garth-worthy "Only Alive" and college-smart "Faith Enough." A cover of "Lonely People" is a showcase for good ol' Jars double acoustic guitarwork.The gems find Jars finally going all-out gospel after years of ambivalence with the label "Christian contemporary". "Amazing Grace" with Ashley Cleveland is the album's key anthem, with a star turn by Charlie Lowell's keyboards. "Trouble Is" pulses a groove with awesome guitar and steel work from Matt Odmark and Stephen Mason and call-and-response with a blues/funk vibe. Frontman Dan Haseltine puts to the test any of my lingering doubts as to his passion as a vocalist in my five-star pick, the glorious gospel testimonial "Jealous Kind," also with Cleveland.Ten years into a career they never expected, Jars of Clay remains for me a vanguard of humor, clarity, and empathy in a genre given to generic gods-per-minute. At the very least, the experimentation of Who We Are Instead suggests they're confident, at this place and time, of who they are indeed."
Seth Cooper | Seattle, WA | 09/10/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Jars of Clay's best album, period. More than that, it is a superb album for any band, period. I don't consider myself a fan of "Christian" music. Rather, I consider myself a fan of GOOD music, and "Who We Are Instead" clearly qualifies as such.
Jars have put out some good stuff in the past, but I had all but stopped following their work once I no longer heard them on mainstream radio. Indeed, I only purchased this album after receiving a tip from Mark Joseph's August 2004 article on National Review Online. Joseph's review of the album intrigued me. He wondered: Did I hear that right? Was they really make an album THAT good? Yes they did, he concluded. I totally agree with Joseph, and I strongly recommend this album.
There is no single standout track here, out of the 13. Nonetheless, every track is a gem, and their sound is excellent. The band really seems to be in its element. The vocals are terrific and the blending of acoustic and electric guitars is fantastic. And the songs have real heart and depth to them-songs about love, longing and weakness. Amazing Grace, Lonely People, Lesser Things, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet, Jealous Kind, Sing...all are exceptional tunes. Furthermore, while Christian themes are touched upon in some of the songs, one need not be a Christian to enjoy the music-a true sign of the music's quality.
Get this album! You will thank me for it."
The best Jars Of Clay cd yet
shad warrell | sunny california | 12/27/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"with the release of who we are instead, jars of clay has finally made the record i'd always hoped they would. this is jars at their best, by far. the majority of the songs are acoustic guitar driven which is not uncommon for jars, but, on who we are instead, the band takes a radical departure from the previous eleventh hour sound and moves tword a folky, americana sound. acoustic guitars, mandolin, pedal and lap steel, banjo, piano, accordion and dobro find their place in the airy gaps of these wonderfully flowing, uncluttered arrangements. dan hasseltine's voice floates over the tracks with fragile honesty and sincerity, his lyrics poetic and thought provoking as always. from the upbeat bounce of sunny days and christian radio hit, show you love, to the mellow swagger of amazing grace, each track is worthy of a listen. my favorite track, lesser things, has a driving minor key americana feel that might be just as at home on a vigilantes of love, son volt, wilco, whiskeytown, ect. cd. again, this release is a departure from the past offerings from jars of clay, but if this is to be a new direction, the future looks great. jars of clay does a perfect job of sending a clear message of the love of Jesus, while still appealing to a secular audience with well arranged and written music, and honest lyrics with depth and intellegence. a truely "must own" cd."