In September 2001, the alternative pop/rock band Jars of Clay performed their first concert in over a year. The event served to foreshadow the group's March 2002 release The Eleventh Hour, an album heralded as comparable to the band's debut project. With this release, Jars of Clay -- composed of members Dan Haseltine, Matt Odmark, Charlie Lowell, and Stephen Mason -- held fast to the creative reins from start to finish. Serving as writers, producers, designers, and directors, the band was able to return to the vision which drove their self-titled debut. The result was a collection of 11 songs unlike any released from the band since their 1995 album. Musically, the project blends alternative rock and pop with elements of folk. Lyrically, it examines aspects of honesty and transparency, exploring human longing. The album opens with the edgy pop track "Disappear," a song expressing the difficulty people face in accepting the existence of unconditional love. Other notable tracks include the first radio single, "I Need You," a driving and passionate expression of a deep desire for God, and the tender yet haunting ballad "Scarlet." The Eleventh Hour is a much needed album from Jars of Clay. It is a return to the elements that drove the sudden success of the band in 1994 and 1995.
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AllMusic Review by Ashleigh Kittle