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Newbie Like a Child
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #1 
So, I was a huge JoC fan when they first came out. I was in my early teens and self-titled and Much Afraid were basically some of my favorite records ever. I was in the Jars of Clay fan club, I got Stringtown, all that biz. The subsequent records I didn't love as much and I started to get into stuff like experimental music, rap, jazz, etc... but I have always liked those first couple records a lot and I still do. I also like Who We Are Instead a fair bit (liked its Over The Rhine vibe but maybe OTR does it better, knamean) but essentially stopped following them after that. May have heard a little bit of Good Monsters, not sure, don't think I was into it.

Anyways, I happened to see the video for "Fall Asleep" today and it really piqued my interest. I still have a strong affinity for JoC and I admire how they approach their artistry and how they communicate their faith without forcing the issue, letting it be organic, and so now I'm kind of curious which couple records I should check out that they released after Who We Are Instead.

Seems like Inland would be a good one for me? I read some good things about The Long Fall Back to Earth?

What do you guys recommend? Or do you guys feel up to ranking JoC's records? I'd like to go out and actually physically buy a couple of their albums that I haven't heard yet, heh. It might also help me to see what your favorites and least favorites are so I can get a good sense of whether we have similar tastes. Like I said I only really loved the first two and Much Afraid is my favorite but I did like Who We Are Instead a fair bit. Did not care for The Eleventh Hour or If I Left the Zoo.

Posts: 1,400
Reply with quote  #2 
Hey Wasp, glad you found us - welcome back!

For me, the two albums that are absolutely essential post-WWAI are Good Monsters and Inland. In my opinion, Good Monsters is what spurred Jars on for the next 10 years of their career. There's an energy and a freshness to that album that I think they started to lose in the projects that preceded it, so it was invigorating to find them at the top of their game again.

Members of the band have said that Inland is the album they've been waiting their whole career to make. They're all super proud of it, and I think it's a great representation of their approach to performing / touring in recent years.

Here's a quick ranking, without giving it much thought...
Much Afraid
Good Monsters
If I Left the Zoo
Jars of Clay
Who We Are Instead
The Long Fall Back to Earth
The Eleventh Hour
Redemption Songs
The Shelter

The band also released a new album called "20" a couple years ago featuring a bunch of acoustic remakes voted on by their fans. I actually prefer some of the versions on that album to the originals. Here's an example:

Lastly...if you're on Facebook, please consider joining our group there! Some of us are still lurking here on the forums, but there's a LOT more activity in the Facebook group. It might be good for you to connect there; it'll be a lot easier for you to ease back into your "fandom" heh [smile]



Newbie Like a Child
Posts: 6
Reply with quote  #3 
thanks so much, Mike! I really appreciate your insight.

I will try to meet up with y'all on the Facebook group!

I streamed some songs from Inland last night and I really, really liked them. It's very different from Much Afraid but for whatever reason I had a very similar feeling listening to the songs that I did all those years ago when I first heard Much Afraid (again, my favorite record for them).

I think I will go buy Inland when I get a chance! And I think my folks have Good Monsters (I turned my whole fam onto Jars back in the day), so I will give that one a spin next time I visit them.

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