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Mason Jennings - Jackson Square & Forgiveness

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Published on Nov 2, 2008

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This week my friend Cihan did the write-up... he really has a nice library of music that he'll be sharing - hopefully a lot - in the near future... thus, 'Cihan's Corner.'
Enjoy:

Mason Jennings Review

Two years ago I was introduced to a certain singer/songwriter that has had an enormous influence on my musical lifestyle. He's practically hijacked my computer and IPod. And while I know that many people hold onto old music or favorites, I've listened to this singer practically every day without fail. In fact, the more I listen, the better the music comes to sound.

His name is Mason Jennings. He was born in Hawaii, grew up in the North Hills of Pittsburgh, and moved to Minneapolis to continue his career. His music is simple, clean, elegant, poignant, and wonderfully refreshing to listen. He is a pop-folk singer/songwriter with one of the most unique voices I've ever heard. In fact, his voice is what makes his music. Most of the songs are a few chords, nothing fancy, reminiscent of older style folk music, but his voice adds that special ingredient that's kept me coming back to him time and time again. It's hard to describe a voice in any sort of way that does justice. So I'm not going to try and rather let the listeners find out for themselves.

He started creating music at home, playing all the instruments himself. Now he's signed on with Jack Johnson's Brushfire Records, after Jack personally recruited him. Mason has released six full-length albums, and a few smaller EPs, all of which are worthy in their own right. I know because I've bought all six, and then downloaded anything else I could find. I was lucky enough to go see him perform in New York and Philadelphia, and was delighted to find that everything you hear in his albums, you hear on stage. There is no digital editing that makes him sound better than he actually is. It's all real, and all good.

His music covers a range of topics from politics to religion to moving short stories moving told in first person narratives. And all of it is interesting to listen to. There are musicians today that sound great, but can be left as background music without any loss. But for Mason, regardless what the song is about, his lyrics are so good that they deserve the listener's attention. He has the powerful ability to express so much in so few words. And it's astonishing at times to see how easily he can bring out emotions.

It's hard to choose one song that expresses him best, for even though much of his music has the same style, each of his songs are unique. The first, Jackson Square, is a pretty powerful piece, especially when you compare the weight of his words with the lightness of the song's music. The second, Forgiveness, is slower and one that I think is a great example of the power of his voice. Enjoy.

  • Category

  • Song

  • Artist

  • Album

    • Boneclouds
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • SME (on behalf of Epic); Memory Lane Music (Publishing), CMRRA, Exploration Group (Music Publishing), and 4 Music Rights Societies
  • Song

  • Artist

  • Album

    • Century Spring
  • Licensed to YouTube by

    • WMG, TuneCore, [Merlin] PIAS (on behalf of bar/none records); Exploration Group (Music Publishing), Memory Lane Music (Publishing), CMRRA, and 2 Music Rights Societies

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