Monday, January 13, 2014

CD Album Review- Jason Eady- Daylight & Dark

The background-
Daylight And Dark was written as a ‘day in the life’ story of a man who is trying to find his way through a bad period of his life,” says Jason Eady. “He is struggling between his intentions during the daytime and his temptations at night. Every morning he wakes up determined to make changes and do the right thing but as evening approaches he starts to give in and lose his way again.

The review-
Jason Eady is a critically acclaimed Texas-transplant singer/songwriter with a unique perspective on country music that drastically sets him apart from most of his contemporaries- with multiple records that this reviewer would put in his top twenty favorite albums. When The Money’s All Gone (2009) and AM Country Heaven (2012) are inspired collections that peel proverbial onion layers off of the human experience. Eady has done the Nashville slick produced thing and was spit out with nary a release after teasing with major label stardom. These days, stripped-down old-school meaningful country music that pays auditory tribute to legends Willie and Merle are what gives him biggest kicks.

Eady’s muse, the imaginary protagonist that plays the victim in most of this inspired new album, is going to need therapy. (Or perhaps this is his therapy.) His life is messy with the deep trials of disappointment and the sorrowful details of love lost. Eady finds inspiration- and passes it along in his storytelling- in 11 songs about the ups (and mostly) downs of love and life. Themes like guilt and shame aren’t just spoken, they’re painted on a lyrical canvas. The pain caused by that darkness aren’t just lyrics, they bleed their way throughout the album like an emotional blanket. Temptations are unveiled as poisons that are just so obviously damaging that you can’t possibly escape them. The genius of the album is the reconciliation of the two sides of life. Each song creates the scene of light versus dark and good versus evil. It’s storytelling depth with an eye for detail hardly seen across any genres in modern music.

The production on this one tips its hat to old-school honky-tonk sounds as much as they do to a stripped down acoustic songwriter showcase style. In both cases, the lyrics steal the spotlight and the instrumentation lets them breathe and stand at the forefront.

While the first half of the album sets the stage, it’s the second half of the album beginning with the title track that just slays the listener. “Daylight and Dark” will go down as a favorite track of 2014 and beyond and stands as the most representative song of the dual day against night theme of the album. The Chris Stapleton co-penned “Whiskey and You” has been covered by the likes of Tim McGraw and Julie Roberts, but the stripped-down plaintive plea of Eady vocals on this one makes it all his own.

Standout tracks-
 "Daylight & Dark"
 "Liars & Fools"
 "Lonesome Down and Out"
 “Whiskey and You”
  “Late Night Diner”

Sounds Like-
 Merle Haggard sensibilities with a Don Williams sound

The verdict-
 Four (plus) stars out of five

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