Review - The Eleventh Hour
by Brandon Klassen
The Eleventh Hour is the definitive take on the 7 year musical and spiritual journey that Jars of Clay have been on since their 1995 self-titled debut.
Jars of Clay have made their best album yet, actually building their own studio in Nashville, Sputnik Studios, and returning to their roots to take full control of the creative process, from self-producing the music to taking all of the album concept photos. The Eleventh Hour combines the acoustic freshness of Jars of Clay's debut, the emotion-filled mood of Much Afraid, the looseness and redefining pop/rock grooves of If I Left The Zoo, and of course, the catchy melodies and signature lead vocals of Dan Haseltine that have defined this band. It's been almost 2 and 1/2 years since the last Jars album, arguably making The Eleventh Hour the most anticipated new album of this Spring - it's the definitive take on the 7 year musical and spiritual journey that Jars of Clay have been on since their 1995 self-titled debut.
Most of the songs on this album are built up from acoustic guitars and keys, per Jars' self-titled debut, and then energizing electric riffs, strong bass lines, and drums / percussion complete the instrumentation. The opening track 'Disappear' is a perfect start to this album because it's the most pop/rock friendly track. Charlie Lowell's keys take quite a prominent place in this track, always backing up the melody with rhythmic punctuation. A catchy electric riff smoothly runs over the acoustics and drums throughout. You'll also notice a much stronger bass line on this album than any other Jars album - it's this inclusion (mostly by Aaron Sands) along with great mixing (by Jack Joseph Puig) that makes these tracks vibrant and alive.