Jason Shain,
Here I Am
(self-produced, 2002)

"Love is Blind" could be an early Bob Dylan song, complete with harmonica. That first track on Here I Am sets a tone for a well-produced and very well-written CD by Jason Shain.

Shain is a singer-songwriter based in New York, where he plays to enthusiastic audiences -- I can understand why on hearing this album. "Lucky" is a beautifully simple song produced here with a strong single guitar backing. Listening to this track I realise the attraction of Shain's work. There is no fancy "footwork" here; the songs depend on a strong lyric that will grab your attention.

One can't help feeling as these tracks are played that the writer is writing from the heart and from experience. "What Were You Thinking (When You were All Alone)" is a thought that most of will have had at some time in life. He wonders what the thoughts of a lover are when he is at work. Think about it. "A Breakfast Table Set for One" is title that says it all until you listen to the poignant tale in the song. This is a song of lost love and the pain of separation.

We all have days like this, but Shain puts it to music and it doesn't sound so bad when he sings it in "One of Those Days." You get put off the bus, you go to work on a holiday or you get mugged, but hey, this sounds almost enjoyable. Shain again hits the nail on the head with "Photographs," providing realistic memories as he recalls his and our youths in song. There is the driver "sixteen doing sixty" which paints a vivid picture.

Here I Am is only a nine-track CD but it showcases a rising star that could make a definite mark if his material is given the airplay to gain a wider audience. You should seek this out.

[ by Nicky Rossiter ]
Rambles: 13 July 2002