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Closer - EP

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iTunes Review

On their 2008 EP Closer, Jars of Clay both reconsider familiar tunes and explore some new directions. Released independently, the five-track project finds the group sketching out their sonic ideas under a minimum of commercial pressure. “Closer” and “Safe to Land” (both subsequently included on 2009’s The Long Fall Back to Earth) are atmospheric tracks combining spiritual reflection with rippling synthesizers and murmuring guitars. A newly recorded version of “Love Song for a Savior” has the loose ambiance of a campfire-side concert, while “Flood (New Rain)” punches up the band’s breakthrough hit with a more aggressive rock approach. The most intriguing tune here is “Prisoner of Hope,” taken from the soundtrack to Sons of Lwala, a 2008 documentary about two African medical students returning to their native Kenya. Those who appreciate the band’s more mystical explorations will enjoy this stately, exalted tune. Though short in length, Closer commends itself to any Jars of Clay fan.

Customer Reviews

TBTR: Track by Track Review of Closer - EP

After years and years of listening to Jars of Clay constantly deliver and routinely reinvent themselves, I have come to the conclusion that they are one of the most underrated bands of all time, "religious" or not. This is their first real record after dropping their label to become independent. 1.) Closer - The new single. Yes, it's experimental in many ways, but it also has an addicting and original melody. The arrangement is perfect, the production is flawless, and the song is great. (5 stars) 2.) Safe to Land - Lots of experimentation, but all of it is successful. The verse melody is brilliant, the chorus melody is soothing, the lyrics are well-written.. It's really a beautiful song. Amazing. (5 stars) 3.) Love Song for a Savior - A really cool rendition of one of their oldest tunes. An almost anthemic rhythm complemented by bright, shimmering acoustic guitars. Obviously the melody is the same as the original version, but it's still a great and relevant melody after all these years. Genius. (5 stars) 4.) Flood (New Rain) - More experimentation on an old song, but again it's all successful. The deep, dark arrangement really draws out the emotion in the lyrics and melody. The melody is emphasized nicely throughout. (5 stars) 5.) Prisoner of Hope - A very subtlety arranged ballad track with illustrative lyrics ("Let the wind run out of breath..") and precise melody lines. Calming, relaxing, and just straight up good. Leaves you wanting more (in a good way). (5 stars) Final: 5.00 (rounded to 5 stars). Why aren't there more bands or musicians like this? Why isn't Jars of Clay respected for being the amazing inventive musicians that they are? I don't know, but what I do know is is that you should get this EP. Total: 5.00 -> 5 stars

A Glimpse of a New Level Reached

"Safe to Land" blew me away. They've reached a new level in their neverending experimentation with music and word. Definitely looking forward to the new full album if this is any indication. They're on their own now and their destiny's in their own hands. And yes, the New Rain version of "Flood" does amazingly unexpected things with the melody and beat that gives the old warhorse not just new legs, but wheels. God, the drums in the bridge section alone are downright seductive.

The Old is made New

If this is a glimse of the next album, I am stoked. They took 2 of the greatest songs from their debut album and gave them a very new feel that I like alot. The single Closer is a great song and fits the norm for a great first song off of a new Jars album. The other 2 songs on the EP are hauntingly beautiful songs. This is a great EP and they are stay at if not exceeding the quality of music they acheived with Good Monsters.


Formed: 1993 in Greenville, IL

Genre: Christian & Gospel

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Jars of Clay were the breakout band of the so-called alternative CCM movement of the '90s, scoring an enormous mainstream hit with the debut single "Flood" and enjoying platinum sales. The group's lyrics may have been exclusively Christian, but their acoustic-oriented music fit perfectly into the folky jangle pop wing of alternative rock radio, at the time a rarity on the contemporary Christian music scene. Such success set the stage for breakthroughs by Christian bands like dc Talk and Sixpence...
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