Review: Long Fall Back To Earth By Jars Of Clay

January 11th, 2010

By Sean Wendell  The Long Fall Back To Earth is the tenth studio release by Jars of Clay, an album focused on relationships and community, as the lyrics outline the struggle and complexity of relationships, and what makes the struggle worth it. 

Jars frontman Dan Haseltine elaborates: “Over the past several years, we’ve been walking with different people who’ve been in crisis and had a real opportunity to see the inner workings of relationships struggling to survive. That’s what inspired the theme of the new record: the idea of people made raw by their relationships, baring their souls to one another other, being broken and being rebuilt.”
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The Long Fall Back To Earth is a great album. It was produced by Jars of Clay and Ron Aniello (Guster, Lifehouse, Leigh Nash), and features a soundscape of rock guitars layered over synths, beats and loops. Haseltine’s vocals welcome you into the rich musical textures of the album. The guitar work by Steve Mason and Matt Odmark is some of their best; building beautiful melodic lines and counterpoint. Charlie Lowell’s keyboard work is also outstanding. Even after weeks of listening I am still discovering new instrumental elements in these songs. If this album were a sandwhich, it would be a hot pastrami sandwich from the Carnegie Deli in New York City, full of meat and no filler. This album has certainly left me satisfied, but still longing for more.

The album’s first single, “Two Hands”, deals with our internal struggle with selfishness and serving others and God.

“I’ve been living out of sanity
I’ve been splitting hairs and blurring lines
I am a house that is divided
In my heart and in my mind

I use one hand to pull you closer
The other to push you away
If I had two hands doing the same thing
Lifted high, lifted high”

This collection's raw look at relationships and rich musical textures will draw you in, and Jars of Clay continues to make exciting and fresh music. The Long Fall Back To Earth does not disappoint.

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