STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 4533-4595 LABEL: Essential 083061062927 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 RRP: £9.99
Reviewed by Mike Rimmer
With over four million album sales in a three album career that has established them as a premier league CCM band, Jars Of Clay unleash their fourth album and what a deal! Returning to their roots and choosing to produce themselves, 'The Eleventh Hour' builds on the edgier sound of their previous release 'If I Left The Zoo' but longtime Jars fans will be relieved that the band continue to evoke strong emotions in their music and ask the hard questions. There are two songs that seem to bookend the album thematically. The beautiful, enigmatic "Silence" questions where God has gone when he seems miles away in the middle of struggles and then the title track acts as an answer to those questions by observing that just when you think it's too late, God is there and has been there all along! "Fly" was written about friends of the band who married and discovered that one of them had cancer. The song explores issues of faith in the face of that struggle and the fact that they had to learn to let go of each other and cling onto God. In case you were worried, it's not all po-faced intensity and there are some lovely lighter moments, like "Revolution" with its edgier sound and fun feel and the optimistic prayer like "I Need You" which is the album's most commercial song. Another masterpiece from Jars who continue to record albums that don't easily fit into the hermetically sealed world of American CCM and yet continue to prove hugely popular.
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With a deft combination of rock gems, driving pop songs and heartfelt ballads, Jars of Clay is back with The Eleventh Hour, a record that reclaims the passion and honesty that captivated millions of music fans.