After the Fight
Label: Gray Matters
Jars of Clay is looking inward this time around as they wrestle with the messiness of living life as part of something bigger than yourself. Relationships are decidedly harder in today's puddle-deep culture, still tracks like "Human Race" are less an indictment and more a plea for connection ("look in my eyes, touch my face"). Other tracks, like "Fall Asleep," are run through with bittersweet nostalgia. This band has always had a way with words, but as each member approaches his 40s, they seem to be taking stock. Fortunately, their battered ideals and well-worn hope only serve to add depth.