15 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

With just an acoustic guitar and his own idiosyncratic voice, Mason Jennings works through fifteen songs that got lost along the way. Jennings is that rare songwriter whose outtakes and extras are as compelling as his official work. This is his fresh take on those lost jewels. His voice turns from a warmth reminiscent of Tom Rush (“January”) to his own trailing folk-blues squeeze (“The Magician”). The subtleties are everywhere. “So Many Ways to Die” is far too easeful for its devilish cataloging of death. “The Likes of Me” is an early rock ‘n’ roll song played with a ‘50s enthusiasm. “A.M. Rock and Roll” is nostalgic without being a direct trace of the sounds remembered. “Two Things You Should Know” turns to even lower fidelity to express its ghostly concerns.  Jennings is a brilliant songwriter who knows exactly how to downplay the emotions that others overdo. It gives his music a refreshing casualness, as if it existed as simple conversation between two friends.

EDITORS’ NOTES

With just an acoustic guitar and his own idiosyncratic voice, Mason Jennings works through fifteen songs that got lost along the way. Jennings is that rare songwriter whose outtakes and extras are as compelling as his official work. This is his fresh take on those lost jewels. His voice turns from a warmth reminiscent of Tom Rush (“January”) to his own trailing folk-blues squeeze (“The Magician”). The subtleties are everywhere. “So Many Ways to Die” is far too easeful for its devilish cataloging of death. “The Likes of Me” is an early rock ‘n’ roll song played with a ‘50s enthusiasm. “A.M. Rock and Roll” is nostalgic without being a direct trace of the sounds remembered. “Two Things You Should Know” turns to even lower fidelity to express its ghostly concerns.  Jennings is a brilliant songwriter who knows exactly how to downplay the emotions that others overdo. It gives his music a refreshing casualness, as if it existed as simple conversation between two friends.

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