Saturday, February 03, 2007

Willy Mason's Back -- And He's Grown Up

Well, here's an album that should make blogmaster "Preciousroy" tres happy, the long awaited sophomore release from young and promising folk singer Willy Mason. Now, I must admit, contrary to popular opinion around these parts, I was not the biggest fan of 2004's "Where The Human's Eat." I felt that Willy, while certainly showing promise, hadn't quite perfected his songwriting craft just yet. Tracks like "Oxygen" and "Where The Humans Eat" stood out, but, as a whole, something didn't click for me.

Luckily though, it appears that those problems are way in the past, for "If The Ocean Gets Rough" shocked me upon first listen as a stunning improvement for Willy, and a great folk album in general. It seems that touring with the likes of Radiohead and Bright Eyes has matured Willy's songwriting skills quite a bit, as everything from the young man's lyrics to his deep and powerful voice just plain sound better here. This album is not to be underestimated, it's pretty fantastic.

A Few (of many) Highlights:

Willy Mason - The World I Wanted
This song is my favorite from the album, and is the perfect example of Mason's stunning maturation as a songwriter. This is pitch perfect and emotionally resonant folk on every level. The lyrics, the vocal performance and the atmospheric classical guitar solo make it a truly affecting listen.

Willy Mason - Save Myself
"Save Myself" expands upon the previous album's stand out "Oxygen," with clever lyrics and a genuinly cool guitar riff. The difference here from "Oxygen" is stunning production, which allows the song to breath easily.

Willy Mason - When The Leaves Have Fallen
"When The Leaves Have Fallen," the album's closing track, is another whistful and beautiful folk tune, carried by Mason's voice, and propelled by the building instrumentation. It's stunning just how improved Mason is on this album, how matured and worn (in that good folky way) he sounds at such a young age.


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