Mason Jennings

Century Spring

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On Century Spring, Mason Jennings emerges an accomplished pop troubadour yearning for romance. In the spirit of Ray Davies, Rufus Wainwright, and John Hiatt, Jennings' witty vocal inflections speak volumes, underpinning his meditative lyrics with sex appeal and wisdom borne of experience. Though the disc boasts several spirited performances and a fresh mix, Jennings' expert songwriting skills are the main attraction. "Dewey Dell" is worthy of inclusion on Simon & Garfunkel's classic Bridge Over Troubled Water set, rendered here with a stark arpeggio guitar beneath a hypnotic parallel vocal harmony. Opening the disc with "Living in the Moment," a cheerful mid-tempo folk-rock cut reminiscent of Lennon's "Ballad Of John & Yoko" or one of Sugar Ray's several Top 40 hits, Jennings sets the stage for his melodic song-cycle of friendship, hope, and better days ahead. The grand piano intro to "Sorry Signs on Cash Machines" and the mock tragedy of "Killer's Creek" are among the many twists and turns Jennings affords his listeners, many of whom will push the replay button to squeeze every ounce of charm from this enticing collection.

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