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Jars Of Clay's Good Monsters Named "Album of the Year"

With Good Monsters, the band has set out to capture its communal experiences and have a bit of fun with the process.

Jars of Clay released its seventh studio album Good Monsters on September 5, 2006 amid tremendous applause, the latest of which is its distinction of being named CCM Magazine's "Album of the Year." CCM has never bestowed this honor on any album so early in the year; however, convinced Good Monsters is a historic release for the Christian music community, the magazine decided to make the announcement immediately.

CCM Magazine

Jay Swartzendruber, editor of CCM writes, "Jars of Clay's new record is the landmark album of 2006. Consider that all six members of CCM's editorial team agree that choosing Good Monsters as our 'Album of the Year' is a no-brainer. In fact, it's an understatement. Practically all of us would say this is the most profound album the Christian music community has released in years."

CCM's September issue has dedicated seven pages to Good Monsters which includes the editor's page, a five-page cover story and a full-page lead review of the album, written by veteran music journalist, Brian Quincy Newcomb. He notes, "[Good Monsters] is unequivocally Jars' best work yet. In fact, Good Monsters is the most intelligent, musically appealing and conceptually framed Christian album that I've heard in quite some time." He tapped the album with an "A+" rating—the first the magazine has given out in several years.

Long considered a critical success, Jars of Clay has also enjoyed major commercial success over its decade-long career, including a double platinum selling debut project, and more than 5.5 million records sold in total. With Good Monsters, the band set out to capture its communal experiences and have a bit of fun with the process. The result is an outstanding collection of tunes that are engaging upon first listen, and increasingly captivating with each additional spin: rock hits, without sacrificing the intelligence and depth of Dan Haseltine's poetic lyrical genius.

Good Monsters

With eleven original songs, and a remake of the Julie Miller-penned anthem "All My Tears," Good Monsters even boasts a couple of stirring guest appearances: Nashville-based, singer/songwriter extraordinaire Kate York guests on "Even Angels Cry," and formerly of Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, sings on "Mirrors and Smoke." Additionally, the African Children's Choir is featured on the moving, "Light Gives Heat."

Good Monsters, completely self-produced by the band, contains the first CCM single ("Dead Man") Top 10 on the rise at CHR radio after just seven weeks, and is fast making its way up onto the AC charts as well.

If you can't wait to hear it, head over to Jars Of Clay's artist page for a few audio samples.

Jacquelyn Marushka is the vice president of public relations with the Provident Music Group.

Originally published in CCM Magazine, August 28, 2006.




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