Jars of Clay is well known as one of the Christian band that work differently from other Christian band. They always created music that aren't overtly Christian. They always hide their faith message subtle beneath each of their songs.
Their eleventh studio and their first independent album Inland is still bringing that same vision of them. The band that its name taken from the NIV’s translation of 2 Corinthians 4:7 released Inland in August 27th, 2013.
Jars of Clay members stated in an agreement that the album is all about expressing faithful journey of the band, both as human beings and as a creative partnership.
But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7
Why we love Inland by Jars of Clay
I can’t express much about Jars of Clay, but I do enjoy listening to Jars of Clay’s album. I love the way they put their music, it doesn’t feel like listening to your ordinary Christian songs. It more like listening to a pop song, but with encouragement lyrics.
My opinion somehow reflect in their first song, After the Fight. When listening to their first song, I felt like listening to a top 40 music chart. When I took more attention to the song lyric, it felt a lot like a bible story when Jacob fights with the angel (Genesis 35:1-7).
I also got my ears got stuck in their next song Reckless Forgiver. It’s talking about sublime message about someone that is called Reckless Forgiver. Someone that can gives peace and pull the splitter when we made mess.
I love the way they put violin voices as the interlude part. It gives a country feel that also makes the song different with other songs. They also give their 90's feeling interlude into a guitar riff in Human Race.
Encouragement lyric clearly shown in Love in Hard Times. It stated that whatever conditions that we faced, even in the battles, we still need to love in hard times. Loneliness & Alcohol also pack a really hidden message behind a catchy music. It told a story about how alcohol can bury our love away and get us lonely.
Skin & Bones then brings a fresh tone after a ballad tempo in I Don’t Want You to Forget and Fall Asleep. Although it has a lot of similarity to Coldplay musicality, it still bring some refreshment to our ears.
It’s not usual for a song that entitled the album put as the closing song. But Jars of Clay put Inland, the title of the album as the closing song in the album. It feels like it’s the conclusion of the journey, to close the story, to tell some final message.
Just like guys from Jars of Clay stated, I also really think that the album is about a journey of a person. From their old and immature days until they’ve matured. All packed in an album called Inland.
First time I heard about Jars of Clay is from WOW Hits for their song "Flood". In this album, they are still working on the same genre and style. I've been comparing Jars of Clay and Switchfoot, and it turns out they have a huge difference among each other. Switchfoot has more powerful music. They used heavy distortion and also combined with electronic synthesizer. Although the genre is alternative rock, Jars of Clay is using more acoustic tools, like acoustic guitar and fiddle, that’s why they were sounded smoother.
About the lyrics, Jars of Clay didn’t mention God or Jesus or Lord in any of their song. They are focused on telling a story about life, love, struggling, and so many problems that we all people often face.
As the opening, After the Fight strikes with a nice beat and bass, along with the typical sound of guitar effect. Surprisingly, this is the most up-beat song in the album.
The second song, Age of Immature Mistakes is also an up-beat song, with the same guitar effect and style with the first song. This song has a unique lyric, about what they do in their past romantic relationship in the past. It’s funny when they mentioned things like sew a sweater, wrote a letter on the pages, made a ringtone with a voice that sounds like each other. It also reminds me about myself back then as a teenager who fall in love.
My favorite song in this album is Skin and Bones, the 10th track. Abraham said that this song is so similar with Coldplay, because the singer's voice reminding us about Chris Martin. Anyway, the song was carrying a deep meaning about love which is described as skin and bones. According to my understanding about the song, skin is the symbol of what people can see bluntly and bones about what people don't see what's in the inside.
My another favorite song is Left Undone. It has a middle tempo and nice music arrangement. I love the drum beat on the chorus which makes the song feels majestic. The lyrics on the chorus was repeated over and over, so it's very easy to remember the song.
The last but not least, the album-titled song Inland is a simple song. It has a simple intro with only beat of the drum and melodies that easy to be remembered. Inland is taking a sailor's point of view that touch the ground and come back home.
Recommended Songs for you
Age of Immature Mistakes
Skin & Bones
Jars of Clay’s Inland can easily become anyone recommendation. It didn't have that 'too religious lyrics', but at the same time has a great encouragement for anyone that listen to it.
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This album is actually not too religious so all of people can enjoy it. Nevertheless, this album is not a praise and worship album so it can't it be sung in the church service. This album can be a reference for you about the world of Christian bands.
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