Monday, June 4, 2007

Reviews:: Jordaan Mason Mantra Songs

When a talented artist creates a lo-fi record, it sound better than some of the slickest sounds you hear from big name producers. The mistakes and subtleties just hit home with me, and make the record even more powerful. One label I’ve stumbled upon with a great stable of lo-fi artists is Oh Map Records. First, we got some songs from Californian/Alaskan fisherman Van Pierszalowski of Port O’Brien. Now we are pleasantly enjoying the folk stylings of For Erie resident, Jordaan Mason.

Mason’s songs are emotional, raw and ragged, but also very beautiful. A gentle picked/strummed acoustic and quirky vocals make up the majority of the songs, but the unexpected rage he displays when his voice flairs like a petulant child (like on Two Arms Open) is powerful. He mixes in simple piano lines, chimes and shouted harmonies with impeccable timing.

Overall, Jordaan’s songs are surprisingly melodic and catchy. The break down on Housewife Part 1 is fantastic, before jumping back into the catchy, quick tempo strums of the sing-along verse. It’s one of those songs you keep asking your guitar playing friend to sing over and over again during the late hours of a party.

The majority of songs focus on the monotony of family life. You can’t help but feel the trapped defeatism as he describes a relationship that falls apart (our mattress is just a place for us to f*&k; and to sleep) on Housewife Part 2. The emotion of He Died (which I thought was Jose Gonzalez’s Joy Division cover when it started) is fantastic, as he expresses the hurt of feeling lost when someone important passes away over a few gradual strums and simple percussion thumps.

I can’t help but wonder what he could do with a big budget, but I love the sparseness of his recordings. Very few emotion filled folk artists can transfer to a slicker sounds as well as John Darnielle, so I’m quite happy hearing Mason in this minimalist format.

MP3:: Housewife Part 1
MP3:: Housewife Part 2

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Posted at 12:57 PM by ack :: 1 comments

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At 10:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous did sayeth:

Is it me or does this guy look like naedoo in a Halloween costume?


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