Jason Webley

Counterpoint

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    5
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Jason Webley's Counterpoint is some sort of accomplishment, but it's difficult to figure out what exactly he's achieved. Most of the record sounds as if it was recorded at a Shakespearean festival, and with tunes that sound as if they're coming from the mouths of minstrels (or in the case of the incredibly bizarre "Drinking Song," as if they were recorded by the cast of a Broadway show about drunken townsfolk in the 17th century), the results are nothing if not truly bizarre. Some of the slower tunes mimic the creepiness of Pink Floyd's plodding ballads or Garth Brooks' heartfelt vocals, and there is an undercurrent of tortured songwriting, which only makes figuring out the disc even more difficult. It's worth pointing out that this is clearly a "concept" record with its two sides of conflicting song titles ("Then" and "Now," "Southern Cross" and "Northern Lights," and so on) varied recording techniques, vaguely discernible story line, and even in its strangely epic feel. The real question is still whether this is any good, and for what it's worth, Counterpoint is fairly interesting. Not exactly recommended listening, but for creative musicians wondering just how far they can run with a weirdly inventive approach, Jason Webley's work is proof that anything can be pulled off gracefully.

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