Mason Jennings has found his true musical voice. This seems appropriate because he found it on his newest collection of songs titled Use Your Voice.
Over the past six years, Jennings honed his distinctive acoustic-based sound while being overshadowed by similar-sounding artists such as G. Love and Jack Johnson. Gone are the loopy rock numbers that characterize his earlier albums, replaced by some poignant songs with a folkier, more mature sound. Recorded and produced by Jennings, Use Your Voice has a spontaneous and organic feel; this basic, no-frills approach lends itself well to his neo-folk sound.
Jennings has always been a versatile artist that can tackle a number of different styles, and this agility is evident throughout the album. On the opening track, “Crown”, he echoes the folk-rock of early Dylan or Nebraska-era Springsteen, complete with harmonica accompaniment. On the somber “Ballad Of Paul And Sheila”, Jennings nods to the storytelling of traditional folk music.
Unlike the easy-to-swallow commercial sounds of his previous albums, Use Your Voice may not hit listeners the first time around, but those who stick with it will be rewarded. In finding his voice, Jennings has proven he has a lot to offer.