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Music  |  Reviews

Josh Mease: Wilderness

[Frog Stand]

July 22, 2009  |  9:00am
Josh Mease: <em>Wilderness</em>
For the lovers, the dreamers—and you

Reissue review

The lush, gauzy slices of pop craftsmanship on Josh Mease’s debut, Wilderness, owe debts to mid-career Beatles, chamber-popsters like The Left Banke and especially Brian Wilson—particularly with the bottle-percussion backbeat, lifted straight from Pet Sounds, punctuating album closer “Tall Trees.” Heavily reverbed piano, guitar arpeggios, fluttering synths, walls of wordless backing vocals and jazz-inspired chord changes produce a heady brew, making lyrics like “my silent star / I wonder where you are” sound more profound than they actually are. Only once does Mease show signs of breaking a sweat, with “On and On” unsheathing some guitar wizardry reminiscent of George Harrison’s work on Revolver. Not much in evidence on the rest of the album—it’s an oversight one hopes will be corrected on future outings. Quibbles aside, debuts this promising are rare—but for safety’s sake, avoid operating heavy machinery while listening.


Listen to Josh Mease on MySpace.

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