20 Songs, 58 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some might have wondered where Steve Mason, once of Beta Band, was headed after 2011's Ghosts Outside, his arresting dub interpretation of his 2010 release Boys Outside. While Ghosts Outside was a successful experiment (creatively, anyway), Mason has returned to making unique, mood-altering sound mosaics, and Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time is remarkably moving. It vibrates quietly and warmly with the passion of a protest album, examining police brutality, the British government, and our own daily personal interactions and responsibilities. There are sly funk and hip-hop rhythms, sparkling pop tunes that transcend the genre, dashes of world spice, and that haunting, vulnerable voice that shaped Beta Band's ethereal feel. The production is spare, the pianos lovely but somber, and snaking hi-hats and languid handclaps keep the pulse at a measured pace, though a sense of coiled emotion lurks within. The searching, beautiful spirit of "Lie Awake," the aching interrogation of "A Lot of Love," the soaring uplift of "Lonely," and the percolating, piano-driven introspection "Oh My Lord" are but a few high points in this sprawling, gorgeous work. 

EDITORS’ NOTES

Some might have wondered where Steve Mason, once of Beta Band, was headed after 2011's Ghosts Outside, his arresting dub interpretation of his 2010 release Boys Outside. While Ghosts Outside was a successful experiment (creatively, anyway), Mason has returned to making unique, mood-altering sound mosaics, and Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time is remarkably moving. It vibrates quietly and warmly with the passion of a protest album, examining police brutality, the British government, and our own daily personal interactions and responsibilities. There are sly funk and hip-hop rhythms, sparkling pop tunes that transcend the genre, dashes of world spice, and that haunting, vulnerable voice that shaped Beta Band's ethereal feel. The production is spare, the pianos lovely but somber, and snaking hi-hats and languid handclaps keep the pulse at a measured pace, though a sense of coiled emotion lurks within. The searching, beautiful spirit of "Lie Awake," the aching interrogation of "A Lot of Love," the soaring uplift of "Lonely," and the percolating, piano-driven introspection "Oh My Lord" are but a few high points in this sprawling, gorgeous work. 

TITLE TIME

More By Steve Mason

You May Also Like