This "BRAND NEW WORLD" CD completes a trilogy of albums by Carolyne Mas, which were all produced by Steve Burgh. When they first joined musical forces in the summer of 1978, Burgh was an in-demand session guitarist and record producer, and Mas was an emerging young artist, rapidly gaining a following along with a massive ammount of press in the New York City music scene.
Their first collaboration, on her debut album "CAROLYNE MAS" in 1979 (for Mercury Records), earned them both respect from ROLLING STONE: "Producer Steve Burgh, whose restraint helped make Steve Forbert's debut album a delight, favors Carolyne Mas with a similar hands-off delicacy. The result is a likable, unpretentious, adult LP." And high praise from MUSICIAN: "Mas is the most talented and compelling American singer-songwriter to emerge since Bruce Springsteen, and this is her 'Born To Run.' Hats off to producer Steve Burgh for his rich and vibrant production."
They quickly followed it up with her second album, 1980's "HOLD ON," recorded live in the studio in about two weeks, capturing even more of Mas's dynamic stage presence.
Mas went on to record her next album (1981's "MODERN DREAMS") with other producers, and established a large following in Germany with her live "MAS HYSTERIA" recording. In 1982, Burgh opened Baby Monster recording studio, working with artists ranging from The Ramones to Emmylou Harris. Mas continued her recording and touring career in Germany with the albums "ACTION PACT" (1989), "LIVE!" (1992) and "REASON STREET" (1993).
Then in 1999 Mas and Burgh reunited, 20 years after their first album together, to make "BRAND NEW WORLD." But with no management shopping it to labels, it went unheard. Mas then collaborated with Mark Johnson on songs that she released on her own career retrospective, "BEYOND MERCURY" in 2003, and Burgh opened a nightclub/studio called "33" in 2004.
When Burgh died of a sudden massive heart attack in February 2005, Mas decided it was time for the world to hear their last, unreleased album. She has now printed it herself on her own Savage Juliet Records as a tribute to her long-time musical collaborator, mentor, and friend.
The CD insert features Mas's dedication to Burgh and an image of them onstage together for the last time at The Bottom Line in New York in January of 1999. The last word she ever heard from him was "Beautiful," in an email response to a picture she had sent him of her son, Gabriel. Mas has chosen for the cover of the CD a close-up of Gabriel--the face of a "BRAND NEW WORLD."
The music inside this "WORLD" covers a spectrum of rock, pop, post-punk, and more (what some might even call "world music")--as radiant and expansive as the sunset photo by Mas on the back cover. She wrote or co-wrote most of the songs on the album, and it is her voice that commands the listener through all the moods on the ten tracks--starting with her beautifully hopeful "BE YOUR GIRL," followed by the edgy "WHEN YOU'RE NEAR." Then shifting into the aggressive "ONE TRACK MIND," the softly insinuating "LITTLE BY LITTLE," and the yearning "CRAZY FOR YOUR LOVE."
Next is the first of two great covers on the disc, both of which Mas makes all her own--starting with her punkish vocal attitude on The Dictators' "STAY WITH ME," followed by her own gorgeous rock ballad "IT'S HARD," and her shattering vocal intensity on "RED LIGHTS," which glides into the cynical-yet-soaring "TILL THE NEXT TIME." The disc ends with Mas's reworking of Steve Forbert's "Listen To Me," translated to Spanish by Carolyne's mother, Livia, as "ESCUCHAME."
As the release of this CD honors Mr. Burgh for his contributions to the world of music, it also reveals that after twenty years of woefully being called "the female Springsteen," Carolyne Mas remains quite an individual, with her own unique sound. Her music gleefully pushes on in a "BRAND NEW WORLD" where all of the old labels, limitations, and rules no longer apply--and never really did.