After an amazing Thanksgiving, crazy midnight madness shopping in Hagerstown Tompaul Stephanie and I are using our respective laptops welcoming the Sabbath with some retro tunes. By retro I mean circa 1995. With our latest Jars of Clay album we received the vinyl self titled album.
In 1995 at a Fellowship of Christian Atheletes retreat I heard Jars of Clay for the first time and it blew my mind. I owned maybe 2 Christian albums and rarely listened to them. Mostly because the quality was not as good as my regular music. The lyrics were sappy and the music was a farce. It was like eating the cheap store brand vanilla ice cream instead of Bryer’s Vanilla Bean. You know what it is supposed to resemble, and you keeping eating hoping you will be satisfied, but you know you never will.
Jars of Clay was a group I listened to because they were good, not because they were Christian. As time JoC has changed. I remember in college everyone owned their first album, but as their music grew I continued to enjoy them. I will say though that many of the subsequent albums did not grab me like their debut, that is until Who We are Instead. When I first heard Who We are Instead it revolutionized my listening.
In honor of Jars of Clay I present my favorite songs in no particular order:
- World Apart (Joc)
- Drummer Boy (Drummer Boy)
- Closer (Closer EP)
- Revolution (11th Hour)
- Dig (Furthermore: from the studio)
- Redemption (Furthermore: from the studio)
- Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows (Front Yard Luge)
- Work (Good Monsters)
- Dead Man (Good Monsters)
- Grace (If I Left the Zoo)
- Liquid (JoC)
- Oh My God (Good Monsters)
- The ENTIRE Who We are Instead Album but especially Jealousy
I would have to say my top JoC albums are
- Who We are Instead
- Jars of Clay
- Good Monsters
I think what always gets me is how they seem to have worshipful music in the vein of the Psalms. It can be praise it can be despondant. They were the first group, in my mind, to create music that described the Christian walk as it was. Sometimes it is fabulous and sometimes it sucks. Sometimes you look at the world and think how can God be there when the whole world is just so jacked up. But he is, and the Christian doesn’t have to be fake, the Christian just has to be real.