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Good Monsters

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Editors’ Notes

After a decade or so of record-making, a rock band enters its "mature" phase and the music either gets richer or sounds increasingly tired. Fortunately, veteran Christian rock combo Jars of Clay finds itself in the former category with 2006's Good Monsters. The sounds here are bold and bright, often suggestive of classic '80s new wave and post-punk. "Dead Man (Carry Me)" has the insistent skank of early Talking Heads, while the title track displays the brawny thrust of U2's initial releases. Odder elements come into play for "Mirrors & Smoke," a growling rockabilly number featuring singer Dan Hasseltine and guest Leigh Nash in a Johnny Cash/June Carter-style pairing. Good Monsters has its understated side as well — "Oh My God" is a praise song of taut, restrained power, while "Even Angels Cry" gives off a softly yearning glow. If there's a central theme here it's one of faithful endurance amidst the evils and ambiguities of mortal life — a message most perfectly stated in the band's superb cover of Julie Miller's "All My Tears." Maturity suits Jars Of Clay well; its contents are a long way from growing stale.

Customer Reviews


I think this was a great album for the band. They experimented with some new sounds while still staying true to their roots. The musicianship is amazing. The lyrics are heavy. Great keyboard parts (especially the Rhodes on "Surprise").

Sweet. Sick. Great Sound.

Great stuff. God centered. Deep. Loved it.


Not their best album but definitely worth buying. Work and Dead Man are the most popular but other songs like Mirrors & Smoke and All My Tears are also very good. Oh My God is a song about the problems in the world and the lost cry out oh my God. Possibly the most noteworthy song on the album.


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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