October 30, 2010 Leave a comment
Looking for something new? Here’s what I’ve been listening to lately…
The latest addition to Jars of Clay’s legacy is a more worshipful project focused on community that involves collaborations with other artists on (almost) every song. We are treated to more pleasant anthems of The Long Fall variety, with those clean guitar strums and bright piano melodies. The lyrical theme is evident from the get-go as the singers exclaim, “We will never walk alone again.” Meanwhile, the bells and crazy vocal interweaving sound like they were lifted off a Sufjan record. The collaborations are remarkably subtle (well, except for Mac Powell’s drawl), often hiding in harmonies that you don’t discover until the third or fourth listen. Even with an exciting array of vocal choirs there’s only so much you can do with clean-driving anthemic-pop-rock, and my intense excitement for at least the first three tracks tends to turn into mild ambivalence by the end. Still, it’s some of the most enjoyable stuff (for me) coming out of the strict CCM market these days.
Standout Lyric: I’ll go when You call me, I run when You tell me where to go /
We are desert walkers under shady clouds…
Let our idols fail, vanity subside
Standout Lyric II: It’s a well worn path so how on earth can we feel alone?
…Look around / Lay it down.
In Case It Interests You: The members of Jars of Clay are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: myspace.com/jarsofclay
After kicking off with an a capella gospel homage from Nate’s mother, Until My Ankle’s Better quickly delves into the duo’s trademark quirky acoustic jams full of passion, vulnerability, and joy. You’re going to be disappointed if you listen to these tracks expecting something aesthetically beautiful or mindblowingly original, but if these songs of life and love don’t make you smile, you’re probably missing the point, as the short tracks are really just trying to become the grown-up version of your favorite childhood sing-alongs. Their faith is a combination of the traditional and not-so-traditional, but it’s always seasoned with understanding and sincerity. Tessa adds tambourine and affectionate harmony to Nate’s acoustic guitar and bleating vocals. Instruments like kazoos and organs dot the landscape along with the vocal oh‘s and doot-doo‘s. By the time the album closes, you almost feel like you’ve gotten to know this simple, charming couple who travels the country playing basement shows and trusting in God’s provision.
Standout Lyric: I need to take the trash out / from the middle of the floor /
cuz when the trash is taken out / it won’t smell no more
Standout Lyric II: Put your head on my shoulder, and we’ll wake up one day older,
just you and I, you and I
In Case It Interests You: Nate and Tessa Allen are known as Christians.
STREAM THE WHOLE ALBUM: destroynateallen.bandcamp.com