Jason Marsh is college professor who decided to make an album entitled Try during his summer months. He says on his Bandcamp page it’s “A blend of rock, blues, and country, with occasional forays into classical-Spanish music.” This is true however what’s absolutely crazy to me is he doesn’t seem to understand that he made a pop album.
The most blatant pop song is the opener “Heart of Stone” which sounds like standard country pop with all the standard tropes and cliches. There is just no denying this fact. The song sounds as mainstream as can be from the production to the structure. I don’t have any judgment about that.'
The first song was not my favorite. “Try” has some solid Santanta-esque lead guitar mixed with some blues. That being said this is still a pop song. Listen to that chorus which can match Matchbox 20.
“The Reason for Lying” starts off strong. Not too much going on other than his vocals and guitars. His vocals sound really good here. I’m not sure why they were treated so differently on the first song. “Luminosity” was a personal favorite. There was some impressive technical guitar playing and the song has more of an ’80s vibe which I appreciated. Old school virtuoso guitar playing on this track. “Karma” is just a straightforward pop/rock song while “Breaking Through” is a pop ballad.
Marsh influences seems to clearly come from the center of the musical spectrum not the fringe. Let’s just say bands on the fringe like My Bloody Valentine, Aphex Twin, Burial, Explosions In The Sky are most likely not on his radar.
His album is slightly scattered and has some trouble finding his sound rather than a genre sound. Given the fact that Marsh came into this album with a full time gig I didn’t expect his signature sound to be fully developed. I don’t think there is any denying that there are some noticeable stylistic deviations between ““The Reason for Lying” and “Heart of Stone.”
Here's the deal. Marsh made a really good pop album which meshes rock, blues and country. This is the type of album you can listen to and know relatively quickly if it's your cup of tea. If you enjoy listening to what is on the FM dial you may very well love this album. However if you are the type that has been enjoying the latest album by Nick Cave and Radiohead I can tell you with a great degree of certainty that this isn’t for you.
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