the acoustic sessions

Jason Ayres

Independent release, 2007

http://www.jasonayres.com/

REVIEW BY: Elizabeth Crowder

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 08/17/2007

When I think of what makes a good musician, I think of the ability to write and play your own music, as well as the willingness to play that music without the glitz of studio backgrounds and backing tracks. Some singers are only good straight from a studio, and the singers that can put on an amazing live show or acoustic disc are becoming few and far between.

Jason Ayres is just such a performer. His voice sounds like a blend of Adam Levine from Maroon 5 and Davy Jones of The Monkees, as this 23-year-old Australian performer has toured all over his home country as well as through Africa. Publicity for this disc has been mainly through Ayres' MySpace (www.myspace.com/jasonayres), and his official website (www.jasonayres.com) provides music clips online and a link to purchase from iTunes. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

With his first album, the acoustic sessions, Ayers provides six tracks with just himself on guitar to back up his passionate vocals. "Chasing Ghosts" stands out as a pleading song of despair, anguish and aching vulnerability. The falsetto Ayres exhibits is not screaming or abrasive, but clear and honest. In "Hold On" he begins with basic chords, showing an old school melody with timeless lyrics to "Hold on to what you got." Basic songs of love, loss and life are sometimes the most poignant to a listener. 

The second song on the acoustic sessions, "Everything I Say," is clever and unique, with lyrics of sadness through a playful tune. That melody drowns out the lyrics of "Are you happy now?" and "I wish I never spoke / everything I say is used against me in some old way." No excuses or reasoning, which is common in the songs on this album.

My personal favorite on this short CD is "Sometimes," a surprisingly candid song about how no matter what we are all human, making mistakes and falling down. The guitar picking Ayres plays in the background is different than the rest of the album, and his voice seems more cynical than in other tracks, such as the lyrics "Although you radiate like the evening rain / You are human all the same."

The acoustic sessions is simple, clean cut and blatantly honest about life. Ayres is a artist whose voice and talent will take him far in this overly remixed industry. An artist with so much more to offer, Jason Ayres is a guy to keep your eye on.

Rating: A-

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