Forgotten Songs of the ‘90s: Jars of Clay
Normally, one does not find Christian music on this site but that’s just because I am not a fan of some of it. For me to like this it has to immediately catch my ear and that’s exactly what Jars of Clay did in the mid nineties when “Flood” hit the airwaves. When the band returned to the studio to craft their second album, 1997’s Much Afraid, they had to prove themselves not just to the Christian market but to the pop market as well. One of the songs that grabbed both markets by the collars and said ‘listen to me!’ was “Frail.”
The song had been played around with by the band since their formation and they even included a reference to it in the liner notes of their self-titled debut. But it wasn’t until the second record that the song fully bloomed. It begins with a beautiful and restrained orchestral intro that leads into a quiet acoustic guitar and the lyrics that are just some of the most beautiful words ever heard in a modern Christian song.
After continuing on for another four minutes, the song begins to build to its climatic finale. Once it ends, the band is at full tilt acoustically and everything ends up sounding so great and poignant. Much Afraid ended up debuting in the top ten but “Frail” was never meant to be a single and so its poignancy has been relegated to their live shows. So go find this song and be prepared to be swept away.