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Jason Lancaster has well and truly mastered his trade – that being the fine and studied art of writing the kind of songs that make hearts melt. Having contributed considerably to Mayday Parade’s A Lesson In Romantics back in 2011, before moving on to put pen to paper for Go Radio up until 2013, Lancaster is well and truly qualified for the task of going solo, and if we didn’t know it already, his debut LP, As You Are only confirms our suspicions.
‘Change,’ like many of the songs on As You Are is a humble, soulful and heartfelt effort delivered mainly on the shoulder’s of Lancaster’s blisteringly powerful vocals, which soar along with the sparse and spiraling piano and violin accompaniments. For the most part, Lancaster’s debut LP is composed of instantly endearing tracks like ‘Adam’ and ‘Do I,’ which shine, despite the relatively predictable contemporary rock ballad formula.
‘Growing Up’ is instantly lovable and endearing, seeing Lancaster coming into his own with somewhat more courageous material. Performing at his most confident, Lancaster’s reckless and belt-out style vocal delivery harmonised on tracks like ‘Shine’ in an exceptionally pleasing way with his pop rock hooks and piano driven melodies is simply affirming. Similarly, in ‘You N Me’ and ‘Just in Time’ the sensitive folk sensibilities and punchy piano baseline complements the confident vocal delivery of Lancaster and lifts the creativity and unique quality of his lyrical penmanship.
Lancaster’s confidence on this record could be attributed to his devout fearlessness especially given his decision to broach religious territory without flinching or hiding behind metaphor. On ‘Save Me,’ an inspiring and soulful country pop ballad, Christian themes may ruffle the feathers of some listeners, but, if you can get past the lyrical subject matter, the song offers some brilliant insight into an artist who has developed an outstanding confidence.
By the enchanting guitar melodies and minimal percussion accompaniments of ‘Climb Up To The Window’ and Lancaster’s exceptional rendition of The Beatles’ ‘Hey Jude’ it is apparent As You Are may be unwaveringly familiar and at times a little monochromatic in flavour. Nevertheless, Lancaster’s exceptional talent for song writing is far too powerful to be anchored down by these things. As You Are may be a collection of sickly sweet love ballads, but despite yourself, you will find that you are absent-mindedly singing along anyway.
2. Growing Up
3. Save Me
4. Come Back
5. You’n Me
6. Climb Up To My Window
8. Do I
9. Just In Time
11. The Cause
12. Hey Jude