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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Jason Plumb & The Willing - Beauty In This World

Jason Plumb & The Willing – Beauty In This World
2007 Soccer Mom Records, Canada
If you do not already know Jason Plumb then you have been missing out. As the head of Saskatchewan pop quarter The Waltons, Jason wrote some of the hookiest and (sometimes) most melancholy songs to come out of Canada in the 1990’s. Jason Plumb is a songwriter’s songwriter who deserves any and all acclaim that comes his way, and it is unfortunate that he is so little known outside of Canada.

Beauty In This World is something of a renaissance of Jason Plumb. This is the first record he’s produced himself. His last solo album, Under & Over, was produced by Ed Robertson of Barenaked Ladies, a longtime friend. This time Jason Plumb took a step back and did everything himself, giving him complete control over the end product like he never had in the Waltons days. The end product is beautiful and uplifting and heart-wrenching and unlike anything you’re likely to find in pop music today.

There are nods to Crowded House and the Eagles California country sound, but this record is pure Jason Plumb, with some amazing orchestral arrangements backing up Jason and his band, The Willing. The title track is worth the price of admission. There honestly isn’t a weak track here, although “Starlight, Starbright”, “I Do”, and “Drive” stand out. “Hope She’ll Be Happier”, a Bill Withers cover, closes the set. Jason even manages to make this his own, ripping you down to shreds and building you back up as hope soars through sorrow.

There’s even a little self-deprecation here and there, such as “Protest Song”. This is Mr. Plumb’s wink to those long-time listeners who perhaps have come to understand just a little bit about where he’s coming from. It’s worth it for you to take the time to get to know him. You may never find Jason Plumb on the grand stage anywhere. He’s settled down from his early days with the Waltons, preferring home and family to the pressures of the music biz, but a songwriter will always write, and always perform. And in this reviewer’s opinion what he writes is far and away among the cream of the crop in pop music today.

Rating: Buy it Now! (Actually, don’t wait that long).

You can find out more information about Jason Plumb & The Willing at You can order his CDs at Good luck catching him live, but it’s worth the wait.

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