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Album Review: Jason Connelly Band – Leave Your Hat at the Door

Jason Connelly Band is a touch of southern rock, a dash of pop rock flavor, and a phenomenal lead vocalist.  We wrote in our YouTube Gem that JC sounds like Adam Levine of Maroon 5.  On the album his voice doesn’t stand out quite as well as the live gig recordings we heard on YouTube, but they still sound very good.  We think he’s worth your time, particularly fans of southern rock and/or soul.

Fans of vocalists like Amos Lee and James Morrison will find the comfortable melodies of the Jason Connelly Band very welcome.  The music is engaging without being abrasive.  We find it to be bounce worthy, especially “Found You.”  You know what we mean… the kind of Saturday afternoon relaxing music that puts a smile on your face.  It’s love music with great vocals.

The improvisation vocals on “Pretender” vault it into a much different category with a decidedly “pop” sound.  More inspired by jazz and smooth rock than the rest of the album, the track is more of a John Mayer album type than anything resembling southern rock.  Perhaps, though, the fact that the song doesn’t fit as much is an indication of JCB’s versatility rather than a knock on the song.

“Father, Father” is one of the hits off this album for good reason.  JC’s vocals are immaculate.  It’s a gorgeous infusion of soulful southern stylings and just enough pop to make it marketable.  This should, honestly, be a top 40 hit.  It’s in the family of some of Maroon 5’s hits.  The song’s theme features a thankful heart toward family, again a relatable and popular sentiment.  It’s about living your own dreams but always looking back on home.  Yeah, it’s cool.

The minor chords on “Believe” are immediately gripping.  The harmonies make it good.  The theme about a lover who’s moved on… makes it the perfect soul pop track.  “It’s only a moment if you believe.”  This song is about memories, love, and emotion.  It’s raw in a very polished way.  What I mean by that is that it will get to its listener, but it’s the kind of song that will make you reflect on good times and bad.  It’s engaging.

What I like most about this album is that it’s an easy listener.  I put it in the same category as Amos Lee, which is no insult for sure.  Connelly’s vocals are fantastic.  I’m excited to hear him live.  “Father, Father” is by far the best track on the album.  I am pretty partial to the stripped down version with JC and a percussionist, but that said this is a nice “throw in the player and chill” album.

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