Published Apr 07, 2015Shaun Mason of Saskatoon and his band, also known as Dumb Angel, have returned with their fourth release, Broken Glass. A winding journey with distinct country influence, the album is reflective and focused on exploring emotion through imagery rather than blunt, expository lyrics. This makes for an enjoyable listen for those who enjoy more abstract songwriting, but lacks some immediate depth.
Broken Glass begins with slow lament "Hopelessly Lost," which draws listeners slowly into the album before "Like A Wave, Like The Tide," a song that washes over the listener with contemplative piano, husky vocals and understated guitar. The ballad has a simple beauty to it, and establishes Mason's strength as a lyricist. "Sometimes I'm Alone" has vague country influences evident in the use of pedal steel guitar, adding lovely melody to Mason's dry voice. At the album's halfway point is "Wanted, Needed, Loved," driven by languid guitars and pleading lyrics, but the repetitive nature of the track weighs it down slightly instead of affirming its message. Things pick up again with highlight "Broken Glass," a soaring number, gradual yet enveloping, that re-establishes the sincerity and love present in Mason's writing.
Mason uses natural imagery to reinforce his writing while blending indie rock, folk, and country to create soft and full sounds. So while it's somewhat inconsistent, Broken Glass is a mostly satisfying album that suggests room to grow for Mason and company. (Clamour)