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The Sun, the Moon & the Sea

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Album Review

The Mason Brothers are indeed just that — James Mason on lead vocals and guitars, Christian Mason on additional guitars and occasional vocals, plus other performers here and there — and on their pleasant debut album The Sun, The Moon & the Sea the duo creates a series of songs that are more or less exactly what they're intended to be, contemplative modern folk with an overt nod back to smooth 1970s deliveries and country/rock fusion roots. James's singing is often little more than a calm whisper, and if anything, this helps place them more in the 21st century than in the previous one; there's that sense of understated conviction that defines (not always successfully) any number of sensitive guy singers and bandleaders currently out there. Similarly, his playing and that of his brother's is competent and enjoyable, if extremely unsurprising most of the time, though once or twice they do cook up something notable. On "Hands on Fire," the gentle addition of a few simple Rhodes piano notes adds a flowing richness to the performance, making it sound much more epic — though the actual solo itself, though equally simple, ends up disrupting that mood much less than the full band arrangement at the end. As that song indicates, they do have a good sense for a sudden twist — the opening "May You Rise" is winning enough but the conclusion, springing a full but not overpowering drum punch onto the listener, helps send it higher. Meantime, the production and sound of "In the Canyon" gives it the sensibility of a good field recording; slightly muffled and trebly without pushing it fully, a careful blend of past and present.

Customer Reviews

Powerful Songs

I bought this after stumbling on Mason Brothers myspace page, and couldn't believe that I had not heard about them before. It is up there with the best acoustic singer songwriter music out there, past and present. The lyrics soar far above and beyond similar artists in this genre. Highly recommended

One of the most talented artists I have heard...

It is 7am and I am sitting on Honolulu waiting for the rain to lift so that we can start our documentary production for the day. (we make stand up paddle and surf movies). The Mason Brothers are going in my iTunes and it is the most perfect music to welcome this day. Their music really soothes the soul, inspires and moves you. Since finding them it has been a fixture in my ipod and playlists. I listen to them to edit, to write, to travel to drive - pretty much the perfect music to fit any mood. Purchase this album and you will not be disappointed.

Movie soundtrack sound

These guys are going to probably end up doing some full length movie sound tracks discs. Just you wait!


Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Taking equal inspiration from Nick Drake, Elliott Smith, and Pink Floyd, Mason Brothers are a contemporary roots band whose music bridges the gap between 1970s British folk and 21st century Americana. The band began as a partnership between Christian and James Mason, two Virginia-born brothers who grew up in Richmond and attended college at nearby University of Virginia. While studying English at UVA, James began laying the brickwork for a solo career, eventually releasing an album of textured folk...
Full Bio
The Sun, the Moon & the Sea, Mason Brothers
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Customer Ratings