The latest from Jars of Clay proves this talented group of four continues to serve up fresh musical offerings. Where last year’s Redemption Songs had a more blues-rimmed acoustic vibe focused on hymns and spirituals, Good Monsters is an altogether different animal. This album shows off the group’s rock edge with songs such as “Dead Man (Carry Me),” full of ’70s-style drums and electric guitar.

At times, the band seems to be influenced by vintage Jimi Hendrix, as on “All My Tears,” while other songs most notably the title track — pick up a more Beatles-inspired sound. Still others (“Even Angels Cry,” “Mirrors and Smoke”) favor bluegrass-tinged rock reminiscent of early Johnny Cash. Guest appearances by former Sixpence None the Richer vocalist Leigh Nash, Ashley Cleveland and the African Children’s Choir bring vocal diversity to the project.

Good Monsters is a sometimes plainspoken, sometimes enigmatic work that carries on Jars of Clay’s legacy of staying true to the issues that strike closest to group members’ hearts. It’s also clear that we can look forward to more great music from this outstanding band.

Copyright © 2006 Christian Music Planet, used with permission.

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