Artist: Jason Masi CD: Life is Wonderful Genre: Blues-Rock, Pop, Singer-Songwriter
Primary URL: https://www.jasonmasi.com/
From Virginia comes Alternative Singer/Songwriter Jacob Latham who just released his latest CD (Life is Wonderful) in 2014. Many of you are already aware how fickle this industry is. Right from the start it might be easy to just categorize Masi as some straight ahead young and run of the mill folk rocker, and write him off as the newest trending thing around the East Coast. It wouldn’t be wise, though. Sure, if you listen to some of his more catchier tunes within this 11 song line-up (Next to You), (The Situation) and (People) that’s the impression one might get. However there is a method to his madness. There are some really good songs on “Life is Wonderful that not only have substance but step outside the traditional “flash in the pan” modern-day pop musical boundaries. Listen to (Miss You Around) for example to you will see exactly what I’m talking about.
Masi stepped out as a solo artist in 2009, trading in the band’s roots-jam driven rock for a more acoustic soul/r&b songwriter approach. He has since released two solo albums, “Balance & Pull”, 2010 and “Life Is Wonderful”, 2012. His transition has led him to sharing the bill with hit songwriters like Bleu and Darryl Worley, and has kept him busy on the road performing over 250 shows per year. Masi’s freshman solo record was released to noteworthy reviews, as well as significant radio airplay, charting in the top 200 college radio charts and being included on radio host, George Graham’s, Best Albums of the Year list. His follow up solo effort, “Life Is Wonderful”, gained additional support and was licensed for use on a number of TV networks (Discovery, MTV, Oxygen) and placed in online commercials, tutorials, E-books and game apps.
First: Masi can play guitar, write and sing like nobody’s business. His voice has an amazing warm and likeability factor. Second he recruited some really good musicians and production folk for this project as well. Thirdly Masi Masi other albums to his credit. All of the above sure go against the grain of modern “flash in the pan” pop and as a result really open up this classic album. This is not Jason Mraz, Jack Johnson of Maroon 5 either, it goes much deeper than that. It’s more like classic, Ash Grunwald, Xavier Rudd, Bob Iver, Fleet Foxes, Horse Feathers, The Decemnberists and Andrew Bird. The CD goes full circle covering a wide range of emotional subject matter as well. This enhances the listening experience rather than limit it for me. Masi has a very marketable look and sound. Masi am is obviously experienced at performing and writing powerful music, but it’s the combination of all of the above that makes him so deadly. I mean, there is nothing here that really seems all that original or fresh, or that’s already been done before. Perhaps that is why Masi is in our players in the first place. Forgive me if I’m talking in circles – but some bands and artists can deliver music that’s pretty straight forward, conservative and painfully simple yet brilliant in scope. Bottom line: they make it look so easy. Furthermore in lieu of the amazing string of songs Masi has delivered on “Life is Wonderful” it almost feels as if he’s on to something, well special.
This latest release from Masi is a one of a kind CD from a one of a kind artist that’s closely tied to classic pop, blues-rock-soul, but has a more modern light rock sound to it. Bravo to Masi for being himself, going against the pop grain and releasing powerful music.
Jason masi will please a wide range of musical personalities in the process. When this album runs its course over one walks away felling Jason Masi is truly something special. After doing my research I highly recommend seeing this guy play live as well.
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars
Review by Alice Freeman. Approved by Cyrus Rhodes.