Marti S. from WHITEHALL, MT Reviewed on 3/22/2011...
The very best CD that jars of clay ever made, as far as I am concerned.
Aileen R. (aileen) from N HOLLYWOOD, CA Reviewed on 8/15/2008...
This was one of the first Jars of Clay CDs I had the pleasure of listening to after I became a fan of the band a few months ago. They are truly amazing, and despite the critics and such, I think they did pretty well with "Much Afraid." It's not only a statement concerning the Christian faith in general, it's a very personal reflection on the band's feelings about reaching out to a secular world with a message of faith and hope. From what Jars has said in interviews they were very "much afraid" to make a follow up to their smash hit self-titled debut because they were mocked by the secular music audience for being too preachy and then scorned by the Christian audience for not being preachy enough...so through rough times, bouts of depression and a passion for Jesus Christ, Jars of Clay wrote some of the most honest, spiritual, poetic and overall some of the best music i've heard from them yet on "Much Afraid." The stand out tracks (in my opinion) are "Crazy Times" which is a painful reminder of the reality of heartache, "Tea and Sympathy" a great observation of a self-serving society, "Frail" a beautiful depiction of humility and "Truce" which is the most eccentric song on the album. Most have blamed the band's third album "If I Left the Zoo" for being the moodiest and the darkest album they've released. However, "Much Afraid" perfectly encompasses a season of despair and confusion, while still reminding us to keep faith. Great music with a powerful message... by Caitlin (Amazon.com)
Darcy K. (Darcyjo) from ROXBORO, NC Reviewed on 5/18/2007...
This is Jars' second release, after their platinum self-titled album. Different, as all Jars projects are, but excellent....especially the cuts "Overjoyed" and "Crazy Times." Give it a listen, you don't know what you're missing!
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jars puts out a wonderful follow-up.
Eric Frederickson | Fox Lake, IL | 02/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After a stunning debut, Jars of Clay's sophomore CD goes somewhat of a different route, opting for more overdubbed tracks, and less of the drum machine. The result is an album that is better in my opinion. Many sonic textures exist, ranging from the orchestration in the sober "Frail", to the harder edges of first single "Crazy Times". In between, a variety of high points shine, including a folk-ish gem, ("Hymn"), pure pop songs, ("Five Candles", "Tea and Sympathy"), and subdued ballads, (the title track, "Portrait of an Apology"). The lavish outro harmonies of "Tea and Sympathy" turn a typical pop tune into something very pleasant to listen to. The thoughtful, slight-dance rhythm of "Truce" is quite intriguing, and the seemingly rhetorical "Weighed Down" recalls the first album's hidden song. At first glance, the album seems to lack musical coherence, but the quality of each song helps unite them all together, despite some noticeable experimentation. "Much Afraid" takes the band's talents, as evidenced in the first record, and adds many layers of musical color, creating a brilliant collection of songs."
Any Previous Skepticalities Fade To Grey Now With This
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't care if everyone is comparing 'Much Afraid' to the self-titled 'Jars Of Clay' from 1995. This album stands well on its own. However, as a new Jars fan, this is one of the best rock/pop albums I ever heard. I wasn't a fan when Jars Of Clay first emerged onto the Christian rock scene because I thought they were receiving too much publicity, and I thought Dan Haseltine's voice was too country-drenched. But now that I am... I'm wondering how naive I was! The reason I like this CD is because of the CD cover (everypage is a different color like someone previously mentioned), the vocals (persuasive, unique), the lyrics (I'm not big on lyrics but this one swayed me; Dan's words are thought-provoking), and the instrumentals (acoustic guitar-meets-electric guitar). They have this hard-edged rock-meets-country sound, yet they have drew me in with the techno/pop flavored "Fade To Grey." All the ones that are upbeat are great, and all the slower ones start off real slow, but gradually grow on you. The strong points of this album is my all-time favorite Jars song "Overjoyed" (quite big on melody), "Fade To Grey," "Tea & Sympathy," (a play on words- "Wonder why we tried/ For things could never be/ Play our heart's lament like an unrehearsed symphony), "Crazy Times" (arguably the most uptempo track with some serious strings), "Weighed Down" (insightful lyrics and rhythm), & "Truce" (a short, yet vigorous, dancey tune). 'Much Afraid' is a must for any Jars Of Clay or light rock fan."
Awesome spin--buy it now!
S. Pochatila | Cleveland | 12/07/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"When I receive this CD as a gift, I didn't really like it that much. However, the song style of Jars grew on me quickly. This CD is loaded with good tracks, one of teh few you can listen to straight through and not have to skip the duds. There are no duds on this disc. Overjoyed, Fade to Grey, Truce, Tea and Sympathy and Hymn are my favorites. The first three are very heavy on melody, and are fun to listen to. The other two are very poetic and powerful, and have some really good strings. Hymn is, in my opinion, the best on the disc. If you buy this disc for any reason, but it because its just good music."
S. Pochatila | 02/22/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This CD totally rocks. Everyone can listen to it. But if you're a Christian, it will have more meaning, especially the last song "Hymn." Awesome effort!"