Mason Dean is a multi-instrumentalist based in Sacramento, California who recently released a seven-song EP entitled A Good Year For Bad Words. He blends electronic elements such as synths with programmed drums, guitars, bass and his vocals. Dean won't be winning any singing competitions but he often compensates with a good amount of heart.
He recorded everything on his MacBook DIY style and it often comes through on the recording. His vocals sound raw, digitally distort occasionally and are in need of proper treatment such as compression and proper eq-ing.
The EP starts with a minute-long intro, which consists of a minute-long ambient hum was more of a declaration than singing. Towards the end of the song he drops orchestral elements with what sounds like a field recording in a train station. I was hoping for more of that type of stuff on the album because however short it was the combination of sounds had an emotional resonance that isn't always prevalent on the album.
The first song “The Billboard Faithful” starts with a verse with no more than bass, drums and his vocals. His muddy vocals are in desperate need of a compressor and a dip in the lower frequencies. Perhaps the most baffling element of the vocals was when he doubles them and decreases the volume a couple of db’s. “Red Win” revolves around a couple of loose guitar chords and distant organ while “The Town” is one of the highlights, which rocks out White Stripes style.
“Whispers” is a complete deviation from the previous material on the record. It’s a straight up electronic dance song with a couple of arpeggiated synths in which Dean’s voice is distorted. He closes with “Had I Been A Sailor,” which contains some of the best music on the album. The last minute or so shows him flexing his muscles with a solid guitar solo.
Dean still has some work ahead of him but has some decent material on A Good Year For Bad Words. I'm looking to forward to how he progresses
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