Canon Blue - Lasso Yo - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Canon Blue - Lasso Yo

by Ljubinko Zivkovic Rating:7 Release Date:2017-10-06
Canon Blue - Lasso Yo
Canon Blue - Lasso Yo

Daniel James might be from Nashville, the Capital of Country Music, but the musical inclinations based on his three albums reside a bit further away from Country.

Rumspringa, his previous album from some six years ago under his nom de plume Canon Blue involved the participation of electronic-based Efterklang and string orchestra Amiina. His new effort Lasso Yo can pass by you as a bit of a deception. Without involving yourself in the full musical/lyrical image James presents, but rather concentrating merely on the melodies themselves, you might get the impression that Canon Blue’s new album is all about poppy, danceable, chirpy tunes, quite well crafted at that. Part of the credit for that song goes to the involvement of Taylor York of Paramore, and John McEntire, known for his work with Broken Social Scene, Yo La Tengo, The Sea and Cake. However, the single and album opener “Beholden” and “Dedicate,”  carry some musical nuances not usually found in your regular Spotify dance fare. 

Lyrically, on the other hand, James is trying to off-burden a load of depression that he has succumbed to in the last few years, and as his lyrics show, that can certainly be an extremely heavy load. Giving it a dance-like veneer, however, he is able to make the heavy subjects more palatable for the listener, without really taking away from the message he is trying to convey. On some tracks the two disparate parts are more like a combination of oil and water, but when it clicks as on “Onyx,” and the rhythmically toned down “Plea Rel,” Canon Blue’s Lasso Yo can reach quite high.

Keeping the balance between the creamy lightness of the music and the heavier intensity of the message is one of the hardest things to do, but Daniel James is able to do that most of the time on this album. It would be quite interesting to hear what he does next.

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