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Saturday, November 9, 2013

James Mauri - Four

James Mauri – Four
2013, James Mauri

James Mauri is a Westport, Connecticut native who began playing guitar by the age of 12.  He was so motivated to bring the music in his head to life that by the age of sixteen he had mastered bass, drums and keyboards as well.  Spending much of his time writing and producing music in his basement studio, Mauri progressed in developing his talent and skills as a songwriter. Moving to Orlando, Florida at the age of 18, Mauri has been voted one of the top-10 acts in that market. Mauri has hooked up with Grammy Award winning producer Ray Bardani (the Swans, Luther Vandross, Elvis Presley, Dr. John, Harry Chapin) and the working relationship has borne fruit.  Mauri’s debut EP, Four, shows his range and ability as a songwriter as a performer, while bringing some of the energy of a live performance to bear.

Mauri steps down a gritty folk/rock pathway with "Got Your Love", a minimalist chant colored with sparse, garage style guitar chords and a simple, blues inspired melody. Maurer keeps it simple and delivers on the song's bare bones appeal with a capable and convincing vocal line. "Do It To Yourself" is an incessant and insistent little rocker that worms its way into your head in spite of its subtle sound.  "Paperdolls" is a wish for love that's more melancholic than hopeful.  This comes across as a bit thin at first, but the song grows on you with successive listens.  "My Shadow" is a workman style rocker with a memorably bouncy feel. Mauri laments the inability to let go of loves that are bad for us. 

James Mauri is an exciting young talent with great musical ability. His talents as a lyricist are still developing, but he shows the potential to be every bit as good with words as he is with notes.  The music on Four is edgy, intense folk rock.  Mauri’s observational style is perhaps a bit inward focused, but he carves what he sees into words effectively and honestly enough to move listeners. Mauri is already in the studio working on a full-length release to drop sometime in 2014.  Four is a great appetizer until then.

Rating: 3.5 Stars (Out of 5)

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