Review of Jars of Clay album Good Monsters

I picked up the new Jars CD a couple of weeks ago. Now I understand the hype surrounding this release. It is perhaps the best Jars album yet. I have no doubt that it will equal the success of their self-titled album released in 1996.

The CD has a really great, unprocessed sound to it. After hearing the band practice before heading out on their Good Monsters tour, it is clear that they have tried really hard to produce a product that will stand alone either on CD or live.

Dead Man is the second track on the CD and is getting a lot of airplay right now; it is at number 3 as of this writing (I’m sure it will be #1 before long). It is a catchy, 80’s style pop song. The chorus is almost as catchy as “it’s a Small World After All”  and has been rattling around in my brain for at least a week. It isn’t the best track on the album, in my opinion, and I am never quite sure why the record companies choose one song over another for airplay. Next time I talk to a label executive, I’ll be sure to ask.

Oh My God caught my fancy the first time I listened through the album. It stands out as the most impressive song on this very thoughtful album. It starts out with a single acoustic guitar and builds to the finale with an insightful prayer from the soul and ends with:

Babies underneath their beds
Hospitals that cannot treat all the wounds that money causes,
All the comforts of cathedrals
All the cries of thirsty children – this is our inheritance
All the rage of watching mothers – this is our greatest offense

Oh my God
Oh my God

Good Monsters also features Kate York on Even Angels Cry and the haunting voice of Leigh Nash on Mirrors & Smoke.

All in all, I think this is perhaps the best album to hit the streets this year.