Review Date: 12/22/14
Review By: Maddy Agers (14)
Release Date: 8/19/2014
[usr 9]

You see fans being focused on more and more in the music industry. There’s Taylor Swift, who has involved fans in too many way-cool things, more than I can count. Tenth Avenue North just put a total of five golden tickets in Cathedral albums all over the country so that lucky golden ticket winners could join them on tour for a day. Then there’s TobyMac, who is always captivating audiences and therefore causing people to fall in love with his music. Fans are what impacts any band or artist’s success. The more loyal the fans, the higher the chance of a band’s success. We are important as music fans, guys! Bands DO appreciate your constant tweets and Instagram posts!

That’s why Jars of Clay focused this acoustic album – 20 – on the fans. It is, after all, their 20th anniversary since creating their first songs as a band in college. This is both a celebration and a little “thank you” to their loyal fans. The band put together an online pledge Campaign for those willing to donate money for a Jars of Clay album with 20 favorite Jars of Clay songs (and to commemorate this anniversary). Before 20 came out, Jars had been doing some acoustic online concerts, really testing the waters on this whole acoustic thing. With the positive feedback from those online concerts, Jars of Clay ultimately decided on recording an acoustic album with the fans’ favorite 20 songs.

The pledges were made on pledgemusic.com, and the band raised money with creative promotions and rewards, from rare albums to vinyl albums to a prototype Jars of Clay custom Taylor Guitar. All of the donations added up, and 20 was put out on August 19th, 2014. It’s a lot of fun to hear old (and new) Jars of Clay songs in an acoustic fashion. Some of these songs include “Ghost In the Moon,” “Trouble Is,” “I Need Thee Every Hour,” and “Boys.” Each track has its own beautiful instrumentals that I absolutely adore, and it’s almost like you’re sitting in the recording studio absorbing the beautiful music with the band.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate Jars of Clay making an album tailored specifically to us, the fans! I wish more artists would do something like this. It’s a great way to show appreciation to the people who support you and always have your back, and plus it’s fun to hear your favorite songs done in a different way than you’ve already heard them. Hats off to you guys for doing things like this album and offering weekends with your fans as fund prizes. It’s nice as a fan to get something back from a band you put a lot of yourself into and truly believe in. Thank you, Jars of Clay, for appreciating us!

Buy 20:
iTunes | Amazon

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