Jars of Clay are well established as one of Christian music's preeminent bands. In less than a decade, Jars have racked up numerous awards and sold millions of CDs, and prompted musicians of all stripes to marvel at the group's magical guitar interplay. But can they pull it off live? Furthermore answers that question with a riveting live-performance disc curiously paired with a less-than-riveting studio disc. From the powerful opening riffs by Stephen Mason and Matt Odmark in "Disappear" to Dan Haseltine's dramatic vocal in "Worlds Apart," the players prove that their master musicianship carries over to the live setting. The band even rocks out hard in the rave ups "I'm Alright" and "Revolution." The studio disc is highlighted by the beautiful "Valley Song (Sing of Your Mercy)" and the poignant "Needful Hands." Unfortunately, the rest of the studio set is filled with rather uninspiring versions of previous Jars hits.
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Great Collection Of Fan Favorites| Posted January 30, 2008
Jars of Clay returned to the studio to place a new sound on seven of their past songs and to create three new offerings that would be included with a second disc full of live recordings. The result is Furthermore: From the Studio, From the Stage, a great throwback to the past seven years in the group's musical history. The first disc, From the Studio, simplifies songs like "Overjoyed," "Liquid" and "Love Song For A Savior" by stripping out most of the instruments to create an effective acoustic atmosphere. This is what MTV Unplugged: Jars of Clay would sound like. The new songs are also written in this context and the highlight is "The Valley Song (Sing Of Your Mercy)." Vertical lyrics like "I will sing of Your mercy / That leads me through valleys of sorrow / To rivers of joy," make it obvious that their faith is still the centerpiece of their writing. The second disc, From the Stage, is the much anticipated live record following their successful 11Live DVD. It's a nice blend of both new and old as songs like "Disappear," "Crazy Times," "Like A Child" and recent hits "Fly" and "I Need You" are played for a very energetic crowd. That said, it's a live record that has little surprises but does a good job of capturing the experience of a Jars concert. So it does its job. Overall, this is an great collection of fan favorites that deviates from the standard "best of" album. With a sticker price matching a single disc, it makes it that much more enjoyable.