Jason Lyles is a musician from Chattanooga, TN who recently released Chameleana. He explains: “I wrote the most of the songs for this album during the summer/fall of 2019 when I was on tour. I would drive through the NC mountains and record ideas on my phone in the car, then finish them up where I was staying or when I got home.
The album definitely dips into a number of different genres some of which I preferred. Up first is “Intro.” It’s a moody and cerebral ambient piece but doesn't really feel indicative of what lies ahead. I was reminded of Radiohead or The Notwist.
Next up is “The Fight” which reminded me of ’90s alternative songs I used to hear on the radio. Songs from 3 Doors Down and Better Than Ezra come to mind. The percussion is intense on this song. “Twenty-Three” is the first song that caught my attention and it has distinct mix of folk and rock. The orchestral strings work really well with the song. I loved the energy from the drums and the vocals are quite catchy as well.
“Good Year” could have been a single back in the ’90s. It’s a simple song in terms of technicality and revolves around minor and major chords. The strength of the song is the hook. It’s the sort of song that would appeal to a broad demographic. He sounds like Billie Joe Armstrong during certain vocal sections.
He gets a little electronic on “Expand” which has a tranquil and serene type of quality. “Nothing Left for Me” is straight rock revolving around 4/4 time and a basic chord progression. It’s again a very ’90s vibe. The chorus is catchy. “More Weight” was a highlight. The orchestral strings are back and the song definitely drives. “Never Alone” is the slow and reflective ballad. Things get more reflective and pensive on the closer “Drain.”
Overall, this release felt very pop oriented. The songs sounded like something you would hear on the FM dial but not necessarily contemporary which isn’t a bad thing in my opinion.
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