On October 4th, 2019, Jason James released his sophomore album titled Seems Like Tears Ago. I was not familiar with Jason until one of his new songs appeared on my Spotify new releases playlist. It’s usually very difficult for me to get into a person’s new album out of the blue without having any kind of introduction, let alone garner enough excitement to immediately write a review of it (after listening to the entire album several times in one day). Without having any prior experience in someone’s music, usually sitting through 10-12 songs is difficult, but not this time! I’m blown away by Jason’s songs and voice.
Jason James unmistakably has a traditional country sound but think less 1970s and 1980s like several retro acts coming out as of late. Instead, think 1950s, a time when country music had bouncy beats, backing vocals coming out of the left (think mono) and a lush overall sound. I get the feeling that the approach in producing the album was very retro all around. I can imagine Jason’s voice cutting through the crisp night air in a teenager’s Detroit-metal car on the radio while en route to the drive-in.
The entire album is a joy to listen to from start to finish. I think the biggest take away here is that Jason James actually sings, as singers these days seem to do less of. You can hear the heartache in his voice that jumps through the speakers and does not get drowned in the instrumentation. The entire album showcases Jason’s true talent for crafting a song.
Favorite tracks: the title song, “I Miss You After All”, “We’re Gonna Honky Tonk Tonight” and “Crying on the Bayou”. But hell, listen to the entire album! And as a bonus, spin the 1990s infused song “I’ve Been Drinkin’ More” from his self-titled debut album, its bad ass and needs to be heard too!