The Long Fall Back To Earth has held up quite spectacularly since its initial release six years ago. Lyrically and musically, the album jumps all over the place. From the beautiful piano intro flowing into the catchy pair of "Weapons" and "Two Hands" to the dance-ready "Heaven," one can already see they aren't pulling any creative punches. "Closer," "Safe to Land" and "Don't Stop" poignantly take a look at the way relationships work, while "Headphones" examines one's isolation in a crowded room and a cruel world. "Boys (Lesson One)" is a beautiful and subdued message to the band's young sons. Songs like this one, and the aforementioned "Safe to Land," make the album feel very personal, engaging the listener on a deep level. The epic "Hero" blows you away with Dan Haseltine's huge vocals, and "Scenic Route" takes you for a more relaxed ride while reminding you to take time with your life and your relationships. "There Might Be a Light" is a beautiful acoustic song about unrequited love. The quirky original album-closers "Forgive Me" and "Heart" get lost at the end of the album a bit but are both great songs in their own right.
Of the six new additions that come with the deluxe edition, there are three original songs that are really fun, though they suffer a bit from a lack of production found on the original album (They also originally were included on a bonus disc that came in a boxed deluxe edition of the vinyl release when the album first came out). They definitely sound like b-sides rather than true additions to the album. "Save My Soul" is a fun alt-pop tune that fits well with the album. "Caught-Escape" is reminiscent of something from Inland - a softer, catchy rock song. There is also a really cool, layered musical interlude in the middle of the track that adds to the song. "Love Won't Let Us" is an exciting synth-rock song that is very different from almost anything Jars has done so far. The final three new tracks are remixes of "Headphones," "Heaven" and "Heart." It doesn't feel like anything special had been done to the songs, adding little to make them stand out to someone not interested in remixes.
The real question when it comes to a deluxe edition of any album is whether or not it is worth buying the album just for the extra material included. If you don't have the album in its original form, then this version is worth buying since it stands as a giant among mediocrity in today's music industry. Those that already have the album should probably check out the new material on a service like Spotify before they drop more money on an album where the best parts are already owned. Regardless, true Jars of Clay fans will want to listen to this and take the time to spin The Long Fall Back To Earth again for what may be first time in a while and take that long fall back to earth once again.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 11/15/15, written by Andrew Corey for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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