Bursting onto the indie scene as a bright eyed, right-out-of-high-school kid with a 4-song, home-recorded demo, Martha's Vinyard born and raised super talent Willy Mason is now releasing his second full length album for the Astralwerks label (though technically his first album, Where The Humans Eat, was initially recorded for Connor Oberst's Team Love label). Called If The Ocean Gets Rough, the album proves that the now early-twenty-something Mason is the real deal. Comparisons to Dylan and Johnny Cash that came early on in his career now seem to indeed be justifiable, as the almost inconceivable maturity in Mason's songwriting soars to even new heights with his sophomore album.
Though this album clearly has better production and a larger recording budget than his debut, it's simply the songs that make it special. These songs would be just as amazing, emotional, intense, thoughtful and truly awe-inspiring if they were recorded on a 4-track tape machine, and that's where the real beauty of Mason's music shines through. Of course, an excellent band and a rich, full sound are nothing to complain about. In fact, I believe its this that will make Mason a more viable candidate for some serious success at AAA radio and a more mainstream audience but at the heart of it all are songs that will undoubtedly withstand the test of time - excellent production or not.
Citing stand out tracks for this release would be a complete waste of time. They're all brilliant. So I'll simply say that if you are a fan of the singer/songwriter "genre" (and likely even if you're not), Willy Mason's If The Ocean Gets Rough should be the next CD you buy (or download... legally).
"When The River Moves On" MP3