Balance & Pull Album Review:
Jason Masi, the vocalist/guitarist of the Richmond, VA based band Jubeus has recently released a solo album. Balance & Pull finds Jason exploring more natural sounds and less of the electric grooves that are part of the Jubeus sound. Upright bass and dobro kick off the album’s opening track “Dust & Bone” as Jason sings of spiritual hunger. “Lord would you give me a chance to free a sense of young love inside of here.” A theme of simple faith and thanksgiving weaves its way throughout the tracks and the tone of the album is one of hopeful vulnerability.
Jason enlists local musicians such as Brian Jones and Jubeus’ bassist/vocalist, Mike Jarvis, plays guitar throughout the album. “Keep Movin On” has a jazzy flow accentuated by Mark Ingraham’s trumpet. Daniel Clake’s Wurlitzer adds the driving undertone and groove on the energetic third track “Being Alive.” The saxophone work of JC Kuhl on “In the Afternoon” is smooth and hopeful.
While the first six tracks of the album maintain a moderate groove, the album ends on a softer, dreamy and expansive note. “Catching Up Again” stands out as the strongest among the up-tempo tracks. Songs like “Get it Right”, “Happy”, “Out of Our Minds” and “Ease Your Worried Mind” flourish with warm strings, delicate piano and organ tones that create a canvas for the more vulnerable reaches of Jason’s vocal range. Nate Leath and Craig Sowby’s violin work complements the more contemplative and vulnerable tone of the later half of the album. They complement Masi’s accessible vocals well.
Balance & Pull is an album with both sonic and lyrical depth. Some of the simplest elements prove the most effective on the album; particularly the echoing-rim shot and gentle percussive piano work on “Ease Your Worried Mind”. Simplicity, honesty and vulnerability make Masi’s voice appealing and accessible and Balance & Pull an enjoyable listen.
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