Jars of Clay Inland - Review – Hope 103.2

Jars of Clay Inland – Review

Inland marks a 20-year milestone for Jars of Clay and a return to the band’s independent roots. 

By Karen TongFriday 30 Aug 2013MusicReading Time: 3 minutes

Inland marks a 20-year milestone for Jars of Clay and a return to the band’s independent roots. 

Jars of Clay release there new album Inland






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We decided to turn away from everything we’d done before and find our own voice as a band,” says lead singer Dan Haseltine about the album in a press release. “It took a year of writing to complete the process, but we wanted these songs to be musically and emotionally honest, a believable expression of what’s going on inside of us right now.”

The result is an album that perfectly blends Jars of Clay’s youthful creative energy with the maturity of experience.

Fans will recognise the band’s unique cross-genre style as the album opens with a taste of electronica on After the Fight, and dabbles in country rock on Reckless Forgiver, with Jeremy Kittle providing vibrant Celtic fiddle melodies. The albums slows down the tempo for a more reflective Love in Hard Times and Pennsylvania, which fully explores the band’s folk roots, and speeds back up in the vibrant rock track Loneliness and Alcohol.

Listen – Jars of Clay – After the Fight from their album Inland

Dan Haseltine showcases his vocal artistry, experimenting with his higher register on several tracks including Human Race, while displaying his more tender and vulnerable tones on piano ballad, Fall Asleep.

Jars of Clay's new album Inland goes back to their independent roots









The album draws inspiration from Homer’s Odyssey, Haseltine explains: “when Odysseus returns to land after a life on the sea, he’s told to take his oar and walk inland until he finds someone who doesn’t know what an oar is,” he says, “for us, the story suggested moving from a comfortable place into unexplored territory.”

Inland by Jars of Clay released in August 2013Lyrically, Inland provides listeners with a rich tapestry of ideas on love and faith that embrace the messy and the unknown. Age of Immature Mistakes addresses the recklessness and fragility of love, “don’t know enough about love so we make it up, like hearts in the hands of a child ‘til they break it up”. Issues such as mortality and regret are tackled in Left Undone, reminding us that our time on earth is short, “I will try to make up for lost time forsaking all I’ve done and left undone”.

“These are songs for the ordinary days, when life is weighty and uncertain,” says Matt Odmark, Jars of Clay guitarist, banjo player and vocalist. “Doubt is the necessary partner of faith, the middle ground where you and I do the gritty work of actually living.”

While the album is deeply introspective and wrestles with significant questions in life, there is also a sense of solidarity and community – that we are not wrestling with these questions on our own.

In the title track, which closes the album, Haseltine sings: “You keep walking inland, where no man is an island, come on home to me.”

Listen - Jars of Clay - Inland

Watch Jars of Clay: Acoustic Performance of Inland on CBS

Inland by Jars of Clay is available now.