Artist/Band: Jason Masi –http://www.jasonmasi.com/
Album: Life is Wonderful
Score: 8/10 Stars
About the Artist: Masi hails from Richmond, VA. and has received many impressive accolades during his tenure as an artist. In his own words: Masi is an American/Virginia based singer-songwriter. He got his start with a Richmond, VA based group, Jubeus, opening for acts like Blind Melon, Everclear, and SOJA and releasing two well received albums, “Two Tone Circles” 2004 and “Natural Mood” 2007, respectively. The latter was named as a top DIY (Do-It-Yourself) release by Performing Songwriter Magazine.
Review: These 11 hot new tracks have much to commend them. Admittedly, there is a whole lot of variety to these arrangements and performances. First: Masi’s impressive band delivers rock solid playing like a well oiled machine. This is testament to hundreds of hours of rehearsal time no doubt. Second: Masi himself possesses a voice and overall look that hit the mark remarkably well on the pop music arena. He has the attributes required of an effective Singer/Songwriter with hints of Jazz, Americana and Alternative folk. Third: his sound and amazing songwriting touch are as good as it gets in modern pop. All songs are a skillful combination of modern pop rock yet with a slight Alternative Rock aftertaste that will remind you of Daniel Powter, Shayne Ward, James Blunt and James Morrison to John Mayer. Masi has the creativity and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous. There is also a unique quality to this catalogue that breaks the mold when compared to the mundane pop-rock that’s been filling the airwaves lately. What am I trying to say – well let m start by saying there is nothing fake and superficial about Jason Masi. Not every square inch is filled with musical ambience delivered under duress – but musical space this allows the music to breathe on its own with passion that cannot be faked. Equally as impressive is how marketable this catalogue truly is. It covers so much ground and despite this it manages to not spread itself to thin across to many lines – nice touch. I’ve always said if you can play it a party, then it’s marketable. The music is extremely marketable – with a fresh sound that is passionate and entertaining very much like Masi himself. All 3 tracks will genuinely lift your spirits unlike most music you hear on the radio these days.
Favorite Track: I honestly can’t decide – all of them! But seriously – Don’t Know Nothing, That Summer, Grain of Sand and Golden Sun.
Criticism: Masi comes on a bit too strong vocally all around. I would recommend he find that emotional pocket during some of the slower parts of his music and dial back his intensity a tad – holding his power in reserve for finales and other parts that call for it. This will provide vocal flow and ebb compatible with his music emotionally.
Conclusion: Let me go on record by sating Jason Masi has no weaknesses that I can see and hear. If he would have releases this 20 years ago he would no doubt be holding a Grammy – back when Grammies really meant something. He has everything and these latest sneak peak is an endearing staple limited by nothing. I would imagine in time we will hear more from this artist from Virginia in the years unfold. Time will tell but I can honestly say this is one artist that is set up for marketable success down the road with her musical personality and fresh sound that gives modern music a well needed wake up call.
Devin Hester, edited by Cyrus Rhodes.