Ray Mason

Between Blue and Okay

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Ray Mason is a true believer in the power of the streamlined pop-rock combo. His songs are filled with hooks from verse to chorus, his melodic inventions giving nods to The Beatles, their roots, and their followers. Mason's scruffy immediacy also evokes Alex Chilton, his roots, and his followers. These tunes are rich in character, and the arrangements simply follow the path of the songs.

Mason is backed by an assortment of players (the album was recorded at several separate sessions), but crisp sound quality and Mason's ingratiatingly honest singing make for a cohesive set. BETWEEN BLUE & OKAY is filled with perfect slices of three- minute pop. Standouts among the 20 songs include the title track, "She's Wearing Her Hair Like Donna Reed," and "It's Heartbreak That Sells," the later also the title of a Ray Mason tribute album.

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