Inland – Jars Of Clay

jars of clay inlandReleased: 2013

Ask yourself this question… how many albums have you listened to that maintain one repetitive sound throughout the full-length duration? Those albums that fall into a single genre influenced rhythm and serve up samey, uninspiring songs that neither impact nor surprise you. It’s a musical cardinal sin and it’s so easily done, as many recent albums can attest to, but Jars of Clay could never be accused of short-changing listeners with lazy and predictable song writing. In fact, Inland delivers 12 impressive songs that effectively demonstrate what two decades of experience can provide – resulting in a very good album.

Packed with emotive keyboard melodies, a strong acoustic rhythm guitar and the heart and musical maturity you’d find with the likes of Snow Patrol and The Killers, Inland is easy pop-alternative rock listening at its best. As the band’s eleventh studio album, produced by Tucker Martine (My Morning Jacket, Beth Orton), Inland marks Jars of Clay’s first independent release and you can feel the creative freedom seeping from one track to another.

Stand out songs include Age of Immature Mistakes with its Brandon Flowers undertones, the ambient Human Race, which has a wildly satisfying guitar section midway through, and Fall Asleep – the gentle piano song that somehow manages to avoid the hackneyed clichés that circle the ballad waters. The dirty-blues verses on Loneliness & Alcohol lend the song to the alt-rock genre and could gain the band new listeners.

Jars of Clay seem to be all about the little details that combine to make a good song great. A guitar solo here, a gentle horn accompaniment there – when these elements are all put together they create a cool multi-layered sound that’s rivalled only by Dan Haseltine’s easy on the ear vocals.

Overall a great album that deserves to be heard.

★★★★

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3 Responses to Inland – Jars Of Clay

  1. Anna July 5, 2013 at 6:57 PM

    Oh, I could have told you this, and I’ve never listened to this album as it hasn’t been released yet. :-P This just confirms what Jars fans already know. But thank you for the tease – I cannot wait to hear this album in it’s entirety now.

    Reply
  2. Rohan July 12, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    Since the day I bought Jars first album on tape in 1995 in Melbourne I have continually been blown away by the band. So many great songs, love the new single can’t wait to hear Inand!

    Reply
  3. Shawn McLaughlin August 16, 2013 at 2:19 PM

    I am pretty sure that Long Fall Back to Earth and their Christmas album were indie releases on their own Grey Matters label, as is Inland. They both were still distributed by Provident/Sony but definitely were independent.

    Reply

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