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Good Monsters

Good Monsters

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Good Monsters is the eighth full-length album from Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay is a Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars...

, released by Essential Records
Essential Records (Christian)
Essential Records is a Contemporary Christian record label based in Franklin, Tennessee. It is a division of a major label, Sony Music Entertainment.-History:...

 on September 5, 2006. This is their last album of new material from Essential Records
Essential Records (Christian)
Essential Records is a Contemporary Christian record label based in Franklin, Tennessee. It is a division of a major label, Sony Music Entertainment.-History:...

 and it is said to be lyrically their most aggressive album to date. It features eleven original songs, and a remake of "All My Tears" by Julie Miller
Julie Miller
Julie Miller is a songwriter, singer, and recording artist currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. She married Buddy Miller in 1981...

. It also features guest appearances by singer/songwriter Kate York (on "Even Angel
Angel
Angels are mythical beings often depicted as messengers of God in the Hebrew and Christian Bibles along with the Quran. The English word angel is derived from the Greek ἄγγελος, a translation of in the Hebrew Bible ; a similar term, ملائكة , is used in the Qur'an...

s Cry"), Leigh Nash, of Sixpence None the Richer
Sixpence None the Richer
Sixpence None the Richer is an American rock/pop band that formed in New Braunfels, Texas, eventually settling in Nashville, Tennessee. They are best known for their songs "Kiss Me" and "Breathe Your Name" and their covers of "Don't Dream It's Over" and "There She Goes". The name of the band is...

 (on "Mirrors & Smoke"), and the African Children's Choir
African Children's Choir
The African Children's Choir is a large choir made up of children ages 7 to 12 from several African nations. Since its inception, the choir has included children from Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Nigeria, and Ghana...

 (on "Light Gives Heat").

"Dead Man (Carry Me)
Dead Man (Carry Me)
"Dead Man " is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is the first radio single off of their 2006 studio album, Good Monsters...

", the first single from the album, was released to radio stations on June 23, 2006. "Work
Work (Jars of Clay song)
"Work" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is the second radio single from their 2006 studio album Good Monsters. The song was the 13th most played song on U.S. Christian Hit Radio stations in 2007. A live concert version of the song appears on the Live Monsters EP, which was...

" was released as the second single, along with its music video, in late August. The band also released a music video for the album track "Good Monsters". In the September 2006 edition of CCM Magazine, the band credited fellow artist Ashley Cleveland with inspiring the improvisational sound of the album.

In an editor's fall albums overview in CCM Magazine
CCM Magazine
CCM Magazine was a monthly magazine published by Salem Publishing, a division of Salem Communications. It was first published in July 1978, and it has always been a Christian music magazine. On January 16, 2008, Salem announced that the April 2008 issue would be the final printed issue of the...

, Good Monsters was called, "the album that Jars of Clay will be remembered for." It ended up taking the award for the CCM Magazine
CCM Magazine
CCM Magazine was a monthly magazine published by Salem Publishing, a division of Salem Communications. It was first published in July 1978, and it has always been a Christian music magazine. On January 16, 2008, Salem announced that the April 2008 issue would be the final printed issue of the...

 staff picks as album of the year, winning four out of the five spaces.

Overview


Concerning the album's title and themes, Dan Haseltine
Dan Haseltine
Daniel Paul "Dan" Haseltine is an American singer best known as lead vocalist for Christian alternative folk rock group Jars of Clay. Haseltine has performed vocals, piano, accordion, percussion and most recently, melodica, while with Jars of Clay...

 explains, "I was not sure how all of the experiences of the last few years would translate into music. There have been so many things to look at and describe. This record is part confessional, part euphoric love poem, bitter separation and part benediction
Benediction
A benediction is a short invocation for divine help, blessing and guidance, usually at the end of worship service.-Judaism:...

. It was born out of many experiences and conversations between addicts
Substance dependence
The section about substance dependence in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not use the word addiction at all. It explains:...

, failures, lovers, loners, believers, and beggars. And so the language of recovery and the honest discourse about our attempts to live apart from God and apart from each other is a theme. Engaging people who are doing the hard work of laying their lives open to others, and avoiding isolation, has allowed me to see that there is both immeasurable evil and unfathomable good mixing under my own skin and it is grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

, mercy
Mercy
Mercy is broad term that refers to benevolence, forgiveness and kindness in a variety of ethical, religious, social and legal contexts.The concept of a "Merciful God" appears in various religions from Christianity to...

 and freedom
Free will
"To make my own decisions whether I am successful or not due to uncontrollable forces" -Troy MorrisonA pragmatic definition of free willFree will is the ability of agents to make choices free from certain kinds of constraints. The existence of free will and its exact nature and definition have long...

 that allow me to not simply be a monster, but to be a good monster."

Honors

  • CCM Magazine named Good Monsters "Album of the Year", shortly after its September release, unusually early for such a distinction. According to editor Jay Swartzendruber, "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."
  • Good Monsters was Christianity Today
    Christianity Today
    Christianity Today is an Evangelical Christian periodical based in Carol Stream, Illinois. It is the flagship publication of its parent company Christianity Today International, claiming circulation figures of 140,000 and readership of 290,000...

    's #1 album of 2006, and ranked #5 of New Release Tuesday's top 10 albums of 2006.
  • Good Monsters won the Best Rock/Contemporary Album of the Year at the GMA Dove Awards of 2007 held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
  • Peaked at #58 on the billboard 200, selling over 15,000 copies in its first week.

Track listing


Note: All songs written by Dan Haseltine, Charlie Lowell, Stephen Mason, and Matt Odmark unless otherwise noted

Standard release

  1. "Work
    Work (Jars of Clay song)
    "Work" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is the second radio single from their 2006 studio album Good Monsters. The song was the 13th most played song on U.S. Christian Hit Radio stations in 2007. A live concert version of the song appears on the Live Monsters EP, which was...

    " – 3:53
  2. "Dead Man (Carry Me)
    Dead Man (Carry Me)
    "Dead Man " is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is the first radio single off of their 2006 studio album, Good Monsters...

    " – 3:20
  3. "All My Tears" (Julie Miller
    Julie Miller
    Julie Miller is a songwriter, singer, and recording artist currently living in Nashville, Tennessee. She married Buddy Miller in 1981...

    )
    – 3:45
  4. "Even Angels Cry" – 4:22
  5. "There Is a River
    There Is a River
    "There Is a River" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. The song was written with Ron Aniello, who produced a handful of tracks on the band's Who We Are Instead studio album and is most notably known for producing Lifehouse's debut album, No Name Face...

    " (Haseltine, Lowell, Mason, Odmark, Ron Aniello
    Ron Aniello
    Ron Aniello is an American; Grammy Award nominated, multi-award–winning, multi-platinum record producer. Some of the noteworthy artists that he has worked with include; Lifehouse, Barenaked Ladies, Guster, Jars of Clay, Days of the New, Sixpence None the Richer, Leigh Nash, Ashley Tesoro, Patti...

    )
    – 3:51
  6. "Good Monsters" – 4:05
  7. "Oh My God" – 6:06
  8. "Surprise" – 3:50
  9. "Take Me Higher" (Haseltine, Lowell, Mason, Odmark, Aniello) – 4:40
  10. "Mirrors & Smoke" – 3:58
  11. "Light Gives Heat" – 4:42
  12. "Water Under The Bridge" (Haseltine, Lowell, Mason, Odmark, Aniello) – 3:58

iTunes Pre-release track listing

  1. "Work
    Work (Jars of Clay song)
    "Work" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is the second radio single from their 2006 studio album Good Monsters. The song was the 13th most played song on U.S. Christian Hit Radio stations in 2007. A live concert version of the song appears on the Live Monsters EP, which was...

    " – 3:53
  2. "Dead Man (Carry Me)
    Dead Man (Carry Me)
    "Dead Man " is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is the first radio single off of their 2006 studio album, Good Monsters...

    " – 3:20
  3. "All My Tears" – 3:45
  4. "Even Angels Cry" – 4:22
  5. "There Is a River
    There Is a River
    "There Is a River" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. The song was written with Ron Aniello, who produced a handful of tracks on the band's Who We Are Instead studio album and is most notably known for producing Lifehouse's debut album, No Name Face...

    " – 3:51
  6. "Good Monsters" – 4:05
  7. "Oh My God" – 6:06
  8. "Surprise" – 3:50
  9. "Take Me Higher" – 4:40
  10. "Mirrors & Smoke" – 3:58
  11. "Light Gives Heat" – 4:42
  12. "Water Under The Bridge" – 3:58
  13. "Work" (Acoustic Version) - 3:36

Album Leaf


On the bottom of the last page in the album insert there is a quote which reads:

"All that is required for evil to prevail is for good men to do nothing"
- Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke
Edmund Burke PC was an Irish statesman, author, orator, political theorist and philosopher who, after moving to England, served for many years in the House of Commons of Great Britain as a member of the Whig party....

 1729-1797 (This quote is apocryphal.)

Performance credits

  • Jars of Clay
    Jars of Clay
    Jars of Clay is a Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars...

     - primary artist
  • Leigh Nash - guest vocals
  • Ashley Cleveland
    Ashley Cleveland
    Ashley Cleveland is an American singer/songwriter perhaps best known as a background vocalist and Grammy-winning gospel singer. Ashley Cleveland was born in Knoxville, Tennessee...

     - guest vocals
  • Rosemary Butler
    Rosemary Butler
    Rosemary Butler began her career playing bass and singing in an all-girl band named the Ladybirds. The band appeared on several LA area television shows before opening for the Rolling Stones in 1964. She then joined all-female hard rock band Birtha who released two albums for Dunhill Records...

     - guest vocals
  • Kim Fleming - guest vocals
  • Kate York - guest vocals
  • John Catchings - cello
  • Kris Wilkinson - viola
  • Jennifer Kummer - french horn
  • Ned Henry - violin
  • Aaron Sands - bass
  • Jeremy Lutito - drums

Technical credits

  • Richard Dodd
    Richard Dodd
    Richard Dodd is a cellist, recording artist, musician in Bristol, England.- Biography :Emigrated with his family to the United States at the age of 2 to Long Beach, California. He began studying the cello at age 10 and took his advanced studies at California State University, Northridge.- Career...

     - mastering
  • Jars of Clay
    Jars of Clay
    Jars of Clay is a Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars...

     - producer, art direction
  • Terry Hemmings - executive producer
  • Christopher Davis - horn arrangements, string arrangements
  • Tim Parker
    Tim Parker
    Timothy Charles Parker , commonly known as Tim Parker, is a millionaire British businessman nicknamed the "Prince of Darkness" by labour unions for his track record of laying off workers to cut costs...

     - art direction
  • Mitch Dane
    Mitch Dane
    Mitch Dane is an American record producer based in Nashville, Tennessee. In his 20 years of production/engineering experience, Mitch has worked mostly in Rock, Roots/Rock and Singer/Songwriter records, but continues to work in other styles like Hip-Hop, Industrial and even bluegrass/Americana...

     - engineer
  • Jonathan Richter - art direction, cover design

External links