Singer songwriter James Favron began writing music in 2011 and has been playing and performing music for over two decades. His debut full-length album Up on the mountain was released in 2015, a bluesy folk rock record with story-based lyrics. Shortly after the release of Up on the mountain, Favron joined forces with several musicians to form his current band The Stotts.
After a brief, ambient intro with panning guitars, subtle percussion and laid-back chord progressions, “War on War” plunges the listener into an emotive power ballad. Favron’s unfettered energy in his vocals attest to his genuine belief in the song’s theme: the tragedy of wars and the hope of alternatives. “Rest in Peace” is led by an acoustic guitar riff, and abrupt drums add contrast to smooth vocals. This song rests fully in a country-infused style, albeit an ominous one.
“Iron Wall” opens with soft percussion and mellow guitar strumming before gradually building up to a full-fledged, swinging tune that is as catchy as it is danceable. The next track, “Gone and Back” sets a slow, plodding beat upon which vocals and guitars layer melodically. This beautiful song brings out the best in Favron’s vocals, and demonstrates his ability to carry a song’s energy effortlessly by his singing.
The album continues its journey through acoustic-tinged blues rock in “Father,” a somber tune with repetitive lyrics and motifs that make for a truly immersive listening experience. “I Have Seen a Light” and “Up on the mountain” are both rife with spiritual undertones, as well as embodying a raw storytelling approach to songwriting that is evident in many of Favron’s songs.
“King of Them All” exudes a bright, uptempo energy with quick, catchy guitar riffs, crashing symbols and dynamic vocals, providing a sharp contrast with the beginning of the album’s final song “Here with You.” This song is highly melodic, drawing upon conventional chord progressions and infused with a more pop-rock style, and its sustained, gradual build to a spectacular ending leaves a lasting impression on the listener.
Overall, Up on the mountain is an eclectic, yet cohesive set of songs that give James Favron the means to continue building his musical legacy.
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