Jason Tyler Burton “Headwaters” Album Review

Right away from the first second Jason begins to sing there is some familiar and extremely likeable in his voice. Vocals that are reminiscent of David Gray in inflection and tone, with a small dose of Damien Rice. A bit of an accent present. Calming, they fit nicely into the grouping of the instruments. His voice softly trails at the end of the phrasings in his songs. Relaxed and soothing feeling washes over me as I listen to his words.

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Not a fan of the girl harmony vocal on track 2. Feels like an afterthought and doesn’t meld as well as I’d like. In ‘The Waltz’ when the female part comes in I want it to build and build and get a little grit and attitude, but it falls a little flat for me. In these instances the male and female voices just feel a bit disjointed to me. I think that singing and making music together is the most intimate thing you can do with another human, you know, aside from that “other thing”, so when it isn’t jiving it can show. It however works quite well for me on ‘Carried Away’ as the harmony is a bit more buried in the mix and makes a little more sense to my ears. She has a great voice, but I think I’d prefer it on it’s own in another context. Sooooo…does she have a record I can give a listen to???

The music overall is soothing and smooth. Bowed strings and well placed guitar effects smooth out the palette of sound behind Burton’s voice, giving it the center stage while also having beautiful intricacies and depth.

‘Silver Lining’ displays some exciting acoustic guitar riffing that I find similar to local songwriter Ryan Fitzsimmons. It has a familiar blues structure, making it accessible but with a few twists to make it not just the same old song and dance. Burton’s vocals display a soft attitude that is nice to listen to , but also seems authentic and sincere. He means business and it makes for a great tune. Also, I’m a sucker for a well played dobro.

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The acoustic guitar pieces on the record are understated, but really quite fantastic. Adding a welcome texture and interesting feel to many of the songs , while not being overly showy. I am really happy with it. ‘Destination’ is a prime example of this…also a prime example of the comparison to Gray when Jason’s vocal changes to the more distorted effect in the song (I’m guessing a harmonica mic?). A sparse, yet memorable song, the only parts being the light picked guitar and voice for most of the song.

In a nutshell, I like this record a lot. I think I will be listening to it off and on for a long time.

Check out Jason online at  http://www.jasontylerburton.com/

 

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