Personaly, I am tired of hearing people say that this album is not Christian enough or that the lyrics are not deep. Most of those complaints are aimed at "Closer" and "Boys (Lesson One)". My only question is, since when are the concepts in those songs not Christian? Closer is about getting better relationships with one another ("Love one another as I have loved you") and Boys is a song about a father giving his son advice (Proverbs, anyone?) Just because they do not insert "Jesus" into every song or copycat other praise and worship songs does not make their album less Christian. I love Jars of Clay's ability to not make the same album over and over (like many Christian artists of today.)
This release is as good as 'Good Monsters' or anything else Jars have done. With most artists one has to be content with 2 or 3 good tracks and the balance of the album is uninteresting. Jars of Clay consistently produce albums FULL of good songs. They are melodic enough to be catchy from the first listen, but complex enough to reveal musical subtleties again and again. We should know by now not to put them in any narrow category (80's wave) or to criticize them for what we think they are "trying" to be. They are quite simply among the most capable and entertaining Christian rock bands ever. "Hero" and "Safe to Land" are great!
There is very little, musically speaking, that Jars of Clay has not done well. This album is no exception. The way they can trade music genres in and out, and still make it sound so them, never ceases to amaze me. That being said, if you are not a fan of 80's new wave music, you may not like the sound of this new album.I have one more bit to add. I have been noticing this type of mindset about christian music come up alot lately, so much so that I feel need to address it, especially since it was brought up about this particular album. Since when does christian music have to only be of the praise and worship type? God wants us to see the world, the whole world, through His eyes, to see His truth. Personally, I rejoice when I find artists that aren't afraid to sing about things that fall outside the box of christianity and put God's perspective on those things.
If you are a true Jars fan from day one, you will love this new CD. I think it's one of thier best! They do what they do best, true music with lyrics that are thought provoking & spiritual. I admire that they are not a "sell out" group just to make bank. They have stayed true to their giftings.
Well, it's good that the description clarified that they didn't intend any type of overtly Christian album here. Jars of Clay is basically trying to emulate a hip, indie band with this release. Most of the CD has a 80's retro techno feel that you will either love or hate. What I disliked more was that the lyrics are, for the most part, completely esoteric and obtuse. In the past Jars has shown that they can write spiritually deep lyrics without being cliche. Here they just seem to want to be 'clever' which comes off more confusing. If you are a fan of Jars of Clay pre-Good Monsters, buy with caution.Highlight:Two Hands