468. Good Monsters – Jars of Clay

GOOD MONSTERS (2006)

Jars of Clay

A band that makes a few appearances on this last may have created one of the best Christian albums of the 2000’s with 2006’s “Good Monsters.” It seems as though every Christian Music publication listed it as “Album of the Year” and for very good reason. It is that strong of an album. There touches of Coldplay, and Toad the Wet Sprocket but also an eerily similarity in vocal stylings to the work of Mike Roe and Terry Scott Taylor.

When a band is consistently as good as Jars is throughout a career there are always two dangers; proclaim the most recent project the greatest in their career or criticize for branching out in new directions. This may be the best album in Jars’ history and the only reason it is not ranked much higher is the rather recent release of the project. Sitting here today it is not too far fetched to assume that 10 years from now this album would be ranked within the Top 100 of all time.

Thematically a little darker than previous albums there seems to be a lyrical struggle of dealing with mankind humanity and the depravity with the soul is held captive. There is a yearning for connection that seems just out of reach and the guttier music and vocals display this struggle superbly. The album seems built around the epic “Oh My God”  that possesses an unbelievable ability to demand repeated listening.

“There Is a River” is so beautiful and “Smoke and Mirrors” featuring Leigh Nash introduce a more country influenced, dare I say bluegrass, musical direction. All considered Good Monsters is the rare gem that mystically and magically married the message to the music in a rare form found today.

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  1. Shawn McLaughlin
    October 9, 2010 at 2:05 am

    My first instinct was to disagree with how low this was…..until I read your reasoning and I now agree with you. Well stated.

  2. dashneal
    October 16, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    Yep. I still remember the first time I heard “Oh My God.” Powerful, heart-wrenching song. One of only a handful that create an emotional reaction in me (the others are Phil Keaggy’s “Highland” from “220;” The Normals’ “Black Dress” and “The Survivor” from “Coming To Life;” and Delirious’ “Majesty (Here I Am)” from “World Service”).

  3. Bill B
    February 12, 2011 at 7:55 pm

    May be a ‘newer release’, but that shouldn’t disqualify it from a higher ranking. Top 10 album in my book!!!

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