3.21.2007

WILLY MASON: If The Ocean Gets Rough [A Voice With Dignity]


WILLY MASON
2007 Full length “If The Ocean Gets Rough” review; a fans perspective

Willy Mason sings strong with clarity and purpose in his second release “If the Ocean Gets Rough”. Following the well received 2005 debut “Where the Humans Eat“, Willy has honed his writing skill and stepped up his melodic verse.

The music is two steps up from Low fi. Each instrument, including guitar are finely mixed as a backdrop to the vocals. Sloppy determined drumming marches on for the tired soldier and beats unsteadily for the uncertain future. The viola is subtly woven into the blend while female harmonies are lovely, but not clich├ęd. What is a standout, are the stellar time changes and the delightful bonus of finding a song within a song.

Willy’s voice is clearly up front and strong, it is a voice with dignity, adding weight to his well crafted songs. Slow and steady, his words provoke an intentioned platform. He doesn’t yell, the clarity of the message is heard as he quietly screams his potent lyrics.

He carefully weaves personal introspective conflict while emphasizing broader social political and world issues. Longing to be loved, he branches out into the world, leaving and remembering the familiar, the nest, the broken home. In “Save Myself” he reaches out for help, to save him from the / vultures that copyright the word free / and other evils awaiting. He longs for unconditional love from family, he asks his mother in the song “When the River Moves On” / Will you hold on to what is gone / Will you hold the rock / when the river moves on / as he claims / I’ve got to leave home to be free /.

Simple things aren’t as simple anymore / death is easy to ignore when it’s numbers are a screen /. Stated so flawlessly in “Simple Town”. The Simple town is sonically lonely, with an echo like quality. The rain comes down under the simple sky, life goes on but secrets, history and the past linger. In the song “The End of the Race” he desperately sings / I see the ocean rolling past / I see the grass / I see the grass / I see it swallow up the past /. The past leaves scars and imprints that even the ocean can’t wash away. It churns it up to face reality.

The nation that is broken, the broken home, the broken self. He asks can they be fixed? Maybe, if we can / set our demons free / and /cut our secrets free /. Maybe if we pay less attention to things we don't really need and more attention to non material things we long for, like the love of a father. As the son cries after his fathers death / daddy what was it you really wanted / in the song “Tomorrow”.

He is learning to walk and negotiate the world. Sometimes he stumbles as unexpected conflict or decisions appear like hot coals underfoot, making walking difficult. Willy knows the world is a tough place filled with secrets, and regrets. And he asks…..If the ocean gets rough / would you help me sing / would it help to sing……….. It always helps me, to hear him sing especially when the riptide’s got me down.
"If the Ocean Gets Rough" 2007 Astralwerks

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