Willy Mason - Carry On

A return to irregular song structures and stripped back guitar and drums.

Label: Fiction

Rating: 7

Willy Mason’s strength lies in what other artists might consider weakness. It was his slow-paced, apathy-inducing drawl, idiosyncratic accompaniment and musical style which brought him to the something-folk foreground in 2005, but then he chose to abandon his hypnotic brand of social commentary for more common and slightly bland songwriting traits in his follow-up album, even teaming up with KT Tunstall at one point. We’d rather songs about flies reading Dostoevsky than Tunstall urging us to be strong, we all cried.

‘Carry On’ does anything but that. It is a break from the second album and a return to irregular song structures and stripped back guitar and drums. Opener ‘What Is This’ sets the tone with a dark, atmospheric treatise on what life is: ‘What is this / Evergreens are dying / Are they even trying?’ Mason’s voice is lazier and more monotone than it ever was on the debut (a good thing) but the infectious nuances and off-beat concepts in the music are still not quite at their 2005 levels - but at least it’s a return to the dreary Mason we all know and love.