Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Blood of Man
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
2009 album from singer/songwriter Mason Jennings. Concieved, written and recorded over the span of a few short weeks, Blood Of Man is an introspective look at life as we age and tumble through it. Says Mason: ''I wrote abo... more »
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2009 album from singer/songwriter Mason Jennings. Concieved, written and recorded over the span of a few short weeks, Blood Of Man is an introspective look at life as we age and tumble through it. Says Mason: ''I wrote about how hard it is to be 34 and be a parent and sane and married and true and positive and yourself and a man and funny and a decent person and a not decent person and human and in love. I turned the music up so loud so often that my ears rang every night. I wrote about death, of course. I wrote about life. I wrote about pain and addiction. And I let it flow and left it raw. I worked fast and I let my heart lead. What you have is exactly the music I listen to in my van and the way I have given it to my friends on CD-Rs. My hope is that it can help where help is needed. Music saved my life and I am so grateful for it. Thank you for listening. Rock.''
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Mason's heart of darkness
B. Martin | 09/18/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"What in the world has gotten into Mason Jennings? That was the question that I couldn't get out of my head after listening to his latest LP, a dark and heavy set of songs dealing with death, loss, murder, grief and all other sorts of cheeful themes. Not that Jennings hasn't tackled these issues before, just not so intensely and never in such a condensed set of songs. Past recordings from the singer/songwriter have dealt with issues such as spiritual searching, love, family, politics, faith, etc. But the music has always been upbeat and melodic. Things aren't so pleasant this time out. The lyrical subject matter is darker than anything he has ever released before. Songs such as "Pittsburgh" deal with a friend's drug overdose and the emotional aftermath while "The Field" looks at the current conflict in Iraq through the eyes of parents who have lost a child to the war. The song is drenched in grief and it's hard not to choke up when Jennings sings, "I don't want a victory. I just want you back". It is perhaps one of the most honest and effective anti-war songs to come along in quite a while; avoiding politics and appealing to the humanity within everyone regardless of their stance on the war. But just when you think your heart is going to break from listening to that song, along comes "Black Wind Blowing", a pitch black tale of murder and revenge between two brothers that will send chills up and down your spine. These songs are the heart of darkness on this album. They form a trifecta of agony and despair that is unlike anything the troubador has turned out before. The rest of the songs are stellar as well, but don't expect hook laden folk songs which has been Jennings' style. The songs here are very basic and they are not filled with catchy melodies. That is probably by design since that forces the listener to hone in on the lyrical content. As for the music, it matches the subject matter perfectly. Each song is stripped down to the bare bones essentials: guitar (electric or acoustic), drums and bass. There is no fancy polish or window dressing on these bitter pills. Jennings wants these songs to be tough to swallow. Indeed they are. Blood of man is a remarkable album from a remarkable talent. It's proof that Mason Jennings is first and foremost an artist who won't compromise his vision. This dark gem may not rank as his best album, but it may be the hardest to shake."
Singing to all
Micah Wolfe | Seattle, WA | 10/03/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's a time of uncertainty, we don't know exactly where we are going or where we will end up. What we know is that there is some design greater than us and we have to try to have faith in it. We're all swimming together not sure where to or why. What's missing, maybe this, "If I was the President if I was that man/ I would walk out with those kids/ Out across the sand" (The Field). In this world what keeps us going? Love. Something like, "Simple things turn magical/ Minutes freeze like popsicles/ And drip their seconds down our shirts/ I love you so much it hurts" (Sunlight). If you're looking for the world to make a little more sense, call on this album."
Hooray for hidden gems!
Elizabeth A. Woolwine | 10/31/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"i have never done a review before but 'blood of man' impressed me so much and had so few reviews i just have to drop in my 2 cents...
i was on the lookout for new music and this was one of the amazon recommendations based on my purchasing history (m83's saturday = youth, michael penn, clear tigers, decoder ring). i had no previous knowledge of mason jennings but there was something ominously beautiful about the album cover. so i previewed the album. what followed deffinitely did the album cover justice. by track 3 i was ready to purchase.
the greatest thing about this album is that unlike its genre peers it doesn't try to be anything more than just simple, poiniant, melodic. sure some of the tracks have a point to make (the feild) but the message doesn't take away from the beauty of the song. 'sing out' melted my heart and 3/4 of the way through the final track i was eager to listen to it all again. its just one of those albums.
'blood of man' was such a pleasant surprise. its one of those albums you can listen to over and over. and i have. i hope more people purchase this album - i can't believe something so great has so few reviews."