jim wisp - momentum
Momentum is the first solo project from artist James Mason, or better known as Jim Wisp. Before creating the soft melodic harmonies present on Momentum Mason could be found playing the saxophone with a previous band, which seems to be a bit of turn for the musician as this album is devoid of a saxophone. Yet there are several subtle bluesy tones to be felt throughout the album, especially on the track “Defining Step.” This album is a “bedroom-album” as it was recorded and mixed primarily from the comfort of Mason’s abode; you can feel the hominess behind both the tone and lyrics of the album as it is a personal journey through time, past and future.
The album opens with "Drift" which contains gorgeous piano, guitar, and vocal harmonies that all gradually gain more intensity as the album progresses and drums are introduced. "Alone" is a frail, sparse song that revolves around cascading, intricate melodies that are softly picked on an acoustic guitar while the whimsical "Fade away" is supported by a playful orchestral ambience that would have sounded right at home in a musical.
The vocalist harps over lovers past; the song titled “What I left behind” is anchored to the chorus “when I get over you.” The song has a gentle melody yet is accentuated by an upbeat drum pattern that leads into the triumphant chorus of the victory of getting over an ex-lover. The album is scattered with grey songs, a bit on the dark side but still airy and light in conviction.
Mason’s voice is the anchor to this album; it leads the soft tunes and guides the songs in a non-abrasive way. This can be heard on the track “Rapture,” where the chorus and bridges take the listener away to a safe dreamy land where a lover soothes your worries away. There are also some guest appearances on the album that add female vocals and flute melodies. The entire theme of the album is about movement, or momentum towards the future, yet perceived from a more passive and “go with the flow” attitude. Momentum is a great easy-listening album.
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