A Single Frame Passing Through the Light
Artist: Jason Sees Band
Produced By: Jason Sees Band
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
When I received A Single Frame Passing Through the Light, Seattle, Washington-based Jason Sees' third full-length album, I decided not to read the promotional material that came with the album. I wanted an unbiased presentation of the music. Often times, when you read the promo material, you get too much information about a particular song or direction the artist is trying to take and you listen to the music with that preconceived notion of what to expect. I wanted to be surprised by what I was hearing.
Had I read the promotional material, I would have learned that A Single Frame Passing Through the Light was actually dedicated to Jason Sees' wife, Zandy, who passed away eight weeks after being diagnosed with cancer. According to Sees, "This album chronicles my journey with my wife. From our ‘honeymoon phase’ though her initial cancer diagnosis, to the last eight weeks of her life, and after she died. So each song was written through a variety of wild and intensely real moments...Writing and recording this record was therapy for me, but it also helped me prove to myself how much Zandy meant to me. Everyone endures loss in their life, so I think this album will resonate with a large number of people. It would be great if this music helped people who are struggling. It is always therapeutic to see something positive come out of tragedies."
After reading that promo, how would you feel about writing a review of the material? Thank goodness I didn't read it until I began writing a review of the album - thus, you are about to receive a true assessment of the album and not one influenced by the emotional strength of the promotional material.
A Single Frame Passing Through the Light features some truly great music with synthesizers, guitars and percussion performed in a variety of formats and styles. Performers on this album include Shaun O'Neill on bass, Dave Campbell on drums, Alex Willson on lead guitar, Julia Sarewitz on vocals and keyboards and Danny McMahon, Zandy's former piano instructor as guest pianist. The lyrics are unsophisticated at best, though they do manage to get their points across. The vocals by Jason Sees are rather weak...Sees' gritty voice often gets overpowered by the music and his female vocalist.
Of the ten track album, I found two songs that appealed most to me. And Of Course Howie is a fun love song. Now that I have read the promo material, I can guess that this song represents the early stages of Jason's life and love shared with Zandy. I'll See You Soon, the last track of the album, is a touching song about a husband who realizes that some day he will have to remove his wedding ring. Sure, the love of his life is not longer with him, but that doesn't mean he will ever forget the time they shared together and he believes that some day soon, they will be reunited...together again in the blissful happiness they once shared. Now that I know the truth about this album, that song feels even more poignant than the first time I heard it.
So, to sum things up, A Single Frame Passing Through the Light is an album featuring incredibly enjoyable music, some relatively weak lyrics and even weaker lead vocals, but a beautiful message written to a lost love. That in itself makes it an album worth checking out.