The Bottom Line
Even though this has been the year of the hymn, Jars of Clay brought musical excellence and intelligent meaning to the old standards on Redemption Songs to make it one of the better releases of hymns that I've heard.
- A thoughtful, well-crafted approach
- Artful and successful bridge between the old and new church
- Unfortunately, albums of hymns have been done to death this year
- Style: alt-folk
- 13 hymns, a mix of classics and lesser known gems
- Released: March 22, 2005
Guide Review - Jars of Clay - 'Redemption Songs'
The first thing that stands out as you listen to Redemption Songs
is the thoughtful care that was obviously poured into the project. Each song reeks of intelligence and meaning. Mission accomplished: Jars of Clay has succeeded wonderfully in their desire to bridge the relevance gap between the church of yesterday and today. Nicely done. These classic hymns have been injected with the traditional Jars alt-folk feel, reminiscent of U2 or Cold Play. The production has a simple raw feel which fits the mission perfectly.
The guests continue the stream of excellence, from the gritty Sarah Kelly (“I’ll Fly Away”) to the delightfully raucous “Nothing But the Blood” with the Blind Boys of Alabama. It’s just about impossible not to enjoy Jars of Clay and they really don’t do anything badly (that I can see). In the strange rush of hymn projects this year, this is certainly one of the better ones.