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Willy Mason
Where the Humans Eat
Team Love, 2004

   

Picking up where James McMurtry left off, Willy Mason writes self-assured songs filled with offbeat observations of small town life. With a voice that sounds far older than his 19 years, Mason's wry humor makes for engaging listening. Signed to Conor Oberst's new label Team Love, Mason has been making a name for himself opening for artists as diverse as The Dead and Death Cab for Cutie.

Mason's songs wander from folk to rock and dip their toes into country, but sound fresh, and never boring. They were recorded in a relaxed, no-frills one-take kind of way that makes them seem as if Willy's sitting on your sofa, playing for you and your friends.

Standouts are the title track, presumably about Mason's cats: "I have been working all fucking day / You lie there sleeping your life away" and the amusing "Our Town," with its stomping oompa beat and lyric about being arrested as a free spirit in an uptight place.

Laura Sylvester
September 28, 2004

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