Monday, August 12, 2013

19 Days of Jars of Clay: 15. I Need You

On Aug. 27, Jars of Clay will release a new album called Inland. To pass the time, I am going to count down my favorite 19 Jars of Clay songs, one per day (not including anything from Inland).

Agree? Disagree? That's fine. This isn't a concrete list, and I'm sure if you made a good case for my rankings being out of sync, I'd admit my own fault. But I'm judging these based on my history with the band and what sounds good to me. The most important thing, dear listener, is to get your hands on this music and listen for yourself.

If they changed my life, I'm sure they'll at least sound great in your stereo.

Here we go!

No. 15: I Need You
From the album The Eleventh Hour

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I'll be honest: This album came out at a time when my interest in the band had waned a little bit, with acts like tobymac, Eminem, P.O.D. and Boston taking up more time in my CD player than Jars of Clay. I Need You was a fantastic song, but the rest of the album at the time just felt meh (it is probably my least favorite Jars record of the lot).

I feel like this is a better version of Show You Love, even though it came out first. That guitar riff at the beginning of the song really draws me in. It's beautiful and really puts you in a contemplative mood. While the acoustic guitar sounds great throughout, I think the percussion part of the song is criminally overlooked. The crashing cymbals in the chorus are fantastic.

Lyrically, it's good, not great. Other songs by the group give the message of "I need you" much better than this one (Take Me Higher from the Good Monsters album is a great example).

However, the reason I love this song enough to put it at number 15 is that it is just so much fun to sing out loud. If I had to give a top five list of best songs to sing in the shower (not sorry for giving you that mental image), the chorus of this one puts it in that list. And perhaps that is part of its charm. While not the best from a lyrical standpoint, it's simple enough to invite non-singers like myself to imitate lead singer Dan Haseltine to the best of our abilities.

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