Jars of Clay: Greatest Hits
This 2008 collection outlines the band’s history in streamlined fashion, providing the highlights of their shifts and detours over the years. What’s made clear is the consistency of the foursome’s message — the theme of God’s love and guidance in the face of earthly disaster has been a reoccurring one from their 1995 debut hit “Flood” onwards. The sparse folk-pop of their early work begins to be fleshed out with “Unforgettable You” and “I Need You,” while blues and soul influences become evident in “Amazing Grace.” More recently, “Dead Man (Carry Me)” and “Work” (from 2006’s Good Monsters) finds them working in a bracing modern rock vein. Whatever their sonic strategies, Jars of Clay has continued to distinguish itself with tight, vigorous playing and lyrics blending a playful spirit with a palpable sense of devotion. This holds true for the newly-recorded “Love is the Protest,” a celebratory rocker that’s a far cry from the moody contemplations found on their first album. Greatest Hits gives a sense of how far this group has come, even as they’ve remained anchored in the Spirit.