EP – Closer – Jars of Clay

Posted by admin on September 15th, 2008

It’s funny, I’ve been aware of Jars of Clay for quite a time, but never really got around to investigating them. Thanks to my friends at Nettwerk, I no longer have to wonder. This 5 track EP of three news songs and two re-recordings, greeted me in my mailbox and has been playing constantly.

It was only while reading up on the band that I saw they had listed Christian, along with Rock and Pop for genres. I don’t know why this surprised me, but this is certainly like no Christian music I’ve ever heard. Maybe that’s a failing on my part, but it’s never really been an area of music I’ve ever really paid attention two. Whatever the genre though, this is great music.

Opening with title track, “Closer”, there’s no punches held back, as it wallops you full force. This is an absolute cracker of a track, which you’ll find yourself humming constantly. “Safe to Land” also has some real clout, but here it’s much more melancholic, with a decided hint of ColdPlay, both musically and vocally. “Love Song for a Saviour” is the first of two re-recorded tracks. I have to admit, having not heard any of their previous releases, I’m none the wiser, but it has a distinctly subtle African flavour, which is probably not accidental as Dan Heseltine visited there in 2002 and was moved by the poverty, physical and social suffering he witnessed. I have to admit this track took a few plays to bed in, but is now a firm favourite.

“Flood” is the second of two previously recorded tracks, again I can only take the song at face value, having never heard the prior version, but I have to admit, it’s by far the low point of the EP for me. While the other songs have a strength in both hooks and flow, this one feels decidedly disjointed. Redemption however is at hand with the final track “Prisoner of Hope”, which has an almost ethereal feel to it, drawing the proceedings to a wondrous end.

Conclusion : Long on my radar, but now firmly in my sights. I’ll be keeping a close eye on this band as I thoroughly enjoyed what I heard here, bar for a small blip.

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