The Masons

Let You Down Easy

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It's been eight years since the Masons released their first and last album, Change Me Back. Since then, Kraig Jordan has been happily writing away, although the bulk of his songs remained unfinished. Eventually though, Jordan picked 14 to finish off, and with the help of friends (15 in all) recorded Let You Down Easy in his studio garage. The result is a wonderfully perplexing set, and is certainly not bound together by musical style. From acoustic ballads to hard rockers, C&W to the blues, evoking bands as far afield as Richard Hell & the Voidoids, the Kinks and Camper Van Beethoven, and with the sequencing oft times emphasizing the eclectic nature of the set, it can be a deliberately bumpy ride. Jordan, however, insists that the cohesion rests in his themes. And in places, one can see his point. "Paper Trail"'s tale of a man with a secret to hide from the nosy press, "Bluefish Frenzy"'s media sharks circling a boating tragedy, and the plaintive loss of a boyfriend related on "Gone Forever" do indeed laterally link. But what interconnects the concerns over food and water safety expressed on "In the Water," an ode to the visiting dog "Theo," and the "sue now" society of "Class Action"? And how do any of them relate to the trio mentioned above that precedes them? Even though the themes dramatically shift and the musical and vocal styles alter abruptly, somehow Let You Down Easy holds lightly together, through Jordan's fabulous melodies, strong hook-laden choruses, sublime imagery, and surprising metaphors. A bit of a head-scratcher of an album, but that's a good thing, insuring listeners will play it again and again to discover its inner secrets.

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