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forn03

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Reply with quote  #1 
New "favorites" thread, as we ruminate over "20" and the songs that were voted on:
What's your favorite Jars song that just doesn't seem to get the same love as others do?
forn03

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Reply with quote  #2 
I'll start and say "The Eleventh Hour".  It's not the deepest Jars song, but I love the plea to "trace the shape of my heart 'til it becomes more familiar to your eyes... take the place of my heart 'til I become a stranger to my life".

This is one of the few songs that I don't know that they've done a recording of that truly does the song justice.  The drums on the album version make it feel like it's plodding along and the Furthermore version seems closer with it's more organic feel, but still doesn't seem to nail it.
datraceman

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Reply with quote  #3 
I'd go with "Whatever She Wants". They never play it live and it has great lyrics and blistering guitar solo. Love that song so much yet most people go "meh".
MikeHarvat

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Reply with quote  #4 

Whatever She Wants is a fun song, but it strikes me as a bit of a lyrical departure. It just doesn't seem to "fit" into the JOC canon to me, if that makes any sense...

Some of my favorites that don't always get a lot of love: Weighed Down, Lesser Things, Even Angels Cry

Oh, and the WORST Jars of Clay song? Hands down, Sing. I pretty much always skip that one.

murlough23

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Reply with quote  #5 

Comments on previously mentioned songs:

"Whatever She Wants" is fun musically, but lyrically it seems like a bit of a punt since along comes this random song about a manipulative relationship on an album that's mostly about other things. It might have worked better, at least in a lyrical sense, on The Long Fall Back to Earth or Inland. It also has more of a standard rock sound and therefore isn't as innovative as the band's usual mish-mash of genres.

I actually really like "Sing". Yes, it's middle-of-the-road and comes dangerously close to sounding like a lot of the pseudo-praise-chorus filler we were being bombarded with in the early 2000s. But then it's got the slide guitars and other folksy stuff and I'm reminded that it would never fly with the crowd who wanted to hear that sort of lyrical content on Christian radio on an endless loop. To me, that song works well due to the track order of the album. It's a response to the overwhelming grace and love that the singer has become aware of in "Jealous Kind". "Sing" devotes the rest of mortal life to praising God, while "My Heavenly" devotes the rest of immortal life to it. (Side note: "My Heavenly" was a song that I probably didn't fully appreciate until around the Redemption Songs era.)

If I had to pick a favorite song per album out of the ones that didn't make the cut for 20, I'd choose the following (apparently underrated) gems:

Like a Child - This became the "theme song of my faith" early in my college years and has been my favorite Jars song ever since (though "Safe to Land" keeps threatening to dethrone it).

Portrait of an Apology - Such beautiful and unusual melodic choices were made in composing this one. Not knowing until much later that it was about Dan going through a pretty serious depression meant that I got to be surprised my it in new and wonderful ways years after knowing on some gut level that I deeply related to it.

Sad Clown - Not one of my immediate favorites when IILTZ was still new, but these days I think it's my absolute favorite on the album, at least when I'm in too mellow of a mood for "Collide". As a guy who can be equal parts court jester and drama queen, I get where Dan's coming from on this one, and I love the downbeat "jazz club at 3 in the morning" feel of the song.

Revolution - There's no beating "Silence" when it comes to sheer depth and brutal honesty, but y'all surprised me by actually picking that one, so my back-up option is the obligatory "just-for-fun" rocker that still messes me up every time I try to play along on guitar and I can't get the timing quite right.

Lesser Things - WWAI had its fair share of gut-wrenching, convicting songs about the false idols we worship and the false notions of grace that we've somehow gotten into our heads and called "Christianity" even when they're not very Christlike. This was the one that haunted me the most. 

Thou Lovely Source of True Delight - A very honest, calming hymn that allows the singer to be honest about his complaints but thankful for God's provision all in the same breath. 2005 was a tumultuous year, so I really needed this one.

All My Tears - This is pretty much going to be my funeral song. After the StageIt, I've realized that I'm not unique among Jars fans for thinking that... so please people, don't a bunch of you go and die first; I want to still seem somewhat original for doing this.

Scenic Route - I love driving. I love exploring the backroads. I love long conversations with people where you really get into the nitty gritty of what makes them tick. And I love long, road-trip friendly minor key songs that build up to satisfying climaxes. So yeah, this song is pretty much how my brain works in a nutshell.

Love Will Find Us - My wife and I plan to adopt children one day, possibly through the Foster care system. So I really identify with this song that sort of brings all of us long lost children together, once orphans but now adopted into the family of God. 

Eyes Wide Open - The Shelter gets two since it was left out altogether. I love it mostly for the folksy feel and the strong guest vocalists, but the band does a bang-up job of playing it live even without the stunt casting.

Loneliness and Alcohol - No real strong relation to this one (thankfully!), but you guys wisely picked "Love in Hard Times", so once again, I'm gonna fall back on the album's "big rocker".

Thanks to the StageIts, the Under the Weather EP, and some acoustic renditions of Inland tracks last year when the album was new, I've at least heard the band remake all of those except for "Thou Lovely Source", "Scenic Route", and "Love Will Find Us".


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DISCLAIMER: The preceding post was a statement of opinion, and does not reflect the views of the members of Jars of Clay, the moderators of Jarchives, or any member of the Holy Trinity. In fact, it is only my opinion that this is my opinion. In my opinion, you may choose to believe that my opinion is fact, if in fact you are of the opinion that you are allowed to choose what you believe, which presupposes the opinion that you do in fact exist in the first place - in my humble opinion, of course. It is my opinion that all of my opinions are humble opinions, but this does not indicate a bias on my part against opinions which are, in my opinion, proud opinions.
forn03

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Reply with quote  #6 

I love when you post, murlough23, because you always have a lot of good stuff to say and to converse about.

I agree with you on "Sing" and it's sort of like the little brother of "These Ordinary Days" (which also is very underrated, IMO), with both carrying the idea that the concept of faith and the love of God make very little sense but despite that lack of understanding there's still a deep desire to both just be and to respond through throwing praise back.  "Sing" admits that what you're giving back is very simple, but as "These Ordinary Days" points out, "the harm of words is sometimes we don't quite know what they really mean".  I had never thought about the "Jealous Kind">"Sing">"My Heavenly" arc.  That's a very interesting observation.

murlough23

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by forn03
I love when you post, murlough23, because you always have a lot of good stuff to say and to converse about.


Aw, thanks. Since there are so few of us, I often feel like I'm missing out on deeper discussions about this band. I remember the good old days when we analyzed each and every song on Good Monsters. That was fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forn03
I had never thought about the "Jealous Kind">"Sing">"My Heavenly" arc.  That's a very interesting observation.


I think it's because I'm old-school and I spent my formative years listening to albums from front to back (even in the early days when all I had was my mom's Integrity praise & worship cassettes) that I tend to assume all albums have their songs sequenced just so for a reason. Sometimes they do; sometimes they're just a compilation of stand-alone songs and the artist didn't think nearly as much about what order to put them in as I am assuming they did. They probably just front-loaded all the singles on Side A. Jars of Clay generally puts a lot more depth into that, though - you can tell with pretty much all of their albums that the final song was really meant to be at the end and wouldn't fit anywhere else. Whether there's a narrative running between the individual songs... well, that's where I might be making things up. (I certainly did with OK Computer, which the members of Radiohead insist was NOT made to be a concept album.)


__________________
DISCLAIMER: The preceding post was a statement of opinion, and does not reflect the views of the members of Jars of Clay, the moderators of Jarchives, or any member of the Holy Trinity. In fact, it is only my opinion that this is my opinion. In my opinion, you may choose to believe that my opinion is fact, if in fact you are of the opinion that you are allowed to choose what you believe, which presupposes the opinion that you do in fact exist in the first place - in my humble opinion, of course. It is my opinion that all of my opinions are humble opinions, but this does not indicate a bias on my part against opinions which are, in my opinion, proud opinions.
forn03

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Reply with quote  #8 
I'll always listen to albums front-to-back before doing any kind of skipping, although as someone (maybe you) said here once, sequencing is going to become a lost art if the industry continues to use digital media the way it does (and also since material can be released for preview so readily online prior to an album's proper release).

Also, as a response to your notes about "Portrait of an Apology", i just listened to the demo of "Grace" for the first time in a long while and hadn't caught how much it lyrically syncs with the songs on MA (particularly "Portrait") as far as the depression lyrics go.  By Zoo it had become a little more benign and I always took it more to be a "fallen human in need of grace to get through the mess we make of the world" song than a "stuck in depression" song.  Really interesting listen after Dan's blog posts and hearing more about his state while writing MA.

EDIT: Had to throw this in too: I've always been haunted by the point in the original (instrumental version) of Frail that was on the "Frail" album that was then also included on WES when the "busy signal" comes in after the first guitar riff.  Amazing how that also ties into some of that depression mindset - people too busy to deal with you, not able to make the connection to people - even though it was arranged 3 years before MA and certainly didn't have the concept of MA in mind.
murlough23

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Reply with quote  #9 
Quote:
Originally Posted by forn03
I'll always listen to albums front-to-back before doing any kind of skipping, although as someone (maybe you) said here once, sequencing is going to become a lost art if the industry continues to use digital media the way it does (and also since material can be released for preview so readily online prior to an album's proper release).


I only skip songs on very rare occasions. Usually when it's a situation like the song I don't like is too long/repetitive/out-there/offensive to sit through and I've got someone else in the room/car with me who probably wouldn't appreciate it. ("Jackson Park Express" from Weird Al's latest comes to mind... then again, Weird Al is definitely more of a "compilation" type artist than an "album" type.) Generally with albums that are so wildly diverse that they contain songs I enjoy and also songs I despise that much, I'm probably not pulling out the album to listen to that often to begin with.

Digital media has its pros and cons. I enjoy the ease with which I can put together a playlist for other folks to dip their toes into genres they might not otherwise try. I think some artists may honestly be more suited for putting out a good single or EP every once in a while; it's when they have to make an album on a schedule that they get in trouble and come up with filler to compensate. Let the artists with the creative vision to sustain an album continue to make albums. (And the really insanely optimistic ones like Sleeping at Last can continue to put out even more material per year than that, I suppose.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by forn03
Also, as a response to your notes about "Portrait of an Apology", i just listened to the demo of "Grace" for the first time in a long while and hadn't caught how much it lyrically syncs with the songs on MA (particularly "Portrait") as far as the depression lyrics go.  By Zoo it had become a little more benign and I always took it more to be a "fallen human in need of grace to get through the mess we make of the world" song than a "stuck in depression" song.  Really interesting listen after Dan's blog posts and hearing more about his state while writing MA.


Haven't listened to the original "Grace" demo in a great while, but I remember that its chorus was surprisingly dark. The final version was so much more laid back and folk/rocky. I like both versions. Honestly there are songs on both MA and IILTZ that are so cryptic, I've forgotten whatever I had once assumed they were about. I was really turned on by cryptic songwriting at the time; I appreciate it, but I sort of like that the band's relaxed a little and I no longer feel like they're trying to obfuscate the things that they really want to say.

Quote:
Originally Posted by forn03
EDIT: Had to throw this in too: I've always been haunted by the point in the original (instrumental version) of Frail that was on the "Frail" album that was then also included on WES when the "busy signal" comes in after the first guitar riff.  Amazing how that also ties into some of that depression mindset - people too busy to deal with you, not able to make the connection to people - even though it was arranged 3 years before MA and certainly didn't have the concept of MA in mind.


Huh. It never once occurred to me that the sound could have been a busy signal. I think the guys were really into sampling back then, as evidenced by all the drum loops on their early material, and their jaw-droppingly weird original take on "Fade to Grey".

__________________
DISCLAIMER: The preceding post was a statement of opinion, and does not reflect the views of the members of Jars of Clay, the moderators of Jarchives, or any member of the Holy Trinity. In fact, it is only my opinion that this is my opinion. In my opinion, you may choose to believe that my opinion is fact, if in fact you are of the opinion that you are allowed to choose what you believe, which presupposes the opinion that you do in fact exist in the first place - in my humble opinion, of course. It is my opinion that all of my opinions are humble opinions, but this does not indicate a bias on my part against opinions which are, in my opinion, proud opinions.
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