April 28, 2009

The Long Fall Back to Earth

As I regularly express to those close to me, I'm not easily impressed by most music that's coming out these days. There are so many bands spitting out a reproduced copy of someone else's version of same song, second verse. It leaves you wondering when originality & creativity ceased to be part of what makes music come to life. That said, there are still bright spots bursting through the muck - there are bands (both huge & famous and independent & unknown) who are re-writing the face of music and giving us new songs to sing.

I'm going to keep this brief - If you still think that "Flood" is the best song ever written by Jars of Clay, you have some homework to do! Last week they released their 9th (if I'm counting correctly) studio album, titled The Long Fall Back to Earth. This collection of songs is far above & beyond most of what is being put out these days under the title "Christian" music. This band (much like U2) constantly refuses to rest on what once worked and they forge ahead, reinventing their sound, their songs, and - by default - themselves.

The album starts out with a melodic vapor-like intro that charges into the song Weapons, which is probably not about what you think it's about. Two Hands exhorts us to stop working against each other and find unity in purpose & heart. Another standout is the song Heaven, reminding me that the Kingdom of God is here - in me - as a follower of Christ. Maybe one of the most unique songs on the list is Headphones, with lyrics that are as culturally relevant as anything I've heard in a long time. And while I point out these few songs I can say that this is one of those albums that all you really need to know is to push Play. From start to finish - it's whole, complete, and lacking nothing in originality and musical courage.

And for all of you who still only have the debut Jars of Clay album in your collection, shame on you! We forgive you, but exhort you to do something about it! If you want to begin adding to your collection start with The Long Fall Back to Earth. After that, here are a few more to add:

- Who We Are Instead
- The Eleventh Hour
- Good Monsters
- If I Left the Zoo

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