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Review

‘Boneclouds’ blends sounds

October 5, 2006

Honolulu-born 30-year-old Mason Jennings is coming here to River Falls this Friday for the AIDS benefit along with Consolation Champ. Right out of Minneapolis, his most recent album, “Boneclouds,” has many similarities to other artists, such as James Blunt and Jack Johnson.

“Boneclouds” also reveals his unique musical inventiveness. With fluid, finger-plucked melodies, along with synchronized keyboard accompaniment, the album comes together at ease.

Lyrically, he finds a way to strike close to home with real life stories that soothe your mood.

According to the artist’s Myspace page, the songs “address the hidden struggles and neglected dreams that have come to infuse most of modern-day life. Mason’s songs provide unique insights that offer hope, honesty and, above all, faith -- an undeniable faith in life.”

I agree with the above statement — some of the songs that portray this exactly are “If You Ain’t Got Love,” “If You Need a Reason” and “Jesus Are You Real.” The musical talent Jennings possesses is that of a star. There’s no reason he hasn’t seen the big stages yet, and getting signed to Epic Records is definitely a step in the right direction.

“I am interested in the experience of life, not it’s meaning,” Mason said.

I believe that this album possesses the talent and passion that a truly devoted musician should have. His four releases prior to the Epic Records debut each sold more than 100,000 albums. For a musician whom I had never even heard of until last week, that’s impressive.

If you are a fan of Jack, James or even Ben Harper, I think Mason Jennings deserves a chance with your eardrums. Five bands at $20 is not at all unreasonable for a musician like Jennings.

Like I said last week, support local music — for AIDS and for the musicians themselves. I also recommend you stay tuned for further releases from this artist; you will thank yourself for giving this one a chance. Let’s just pray he doesn’t go radio big and become played out to no end, which is in my eyes the worst thing for a small-time musician.

Erik Wood is a student at UW-River Falls.

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