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Album review: Steve Mason, Monkey Minds in the Devil's Time (Double Six)


On his most rewarding release since The Beta Band, Steve Mason grapples with politics both public and personal, but in a warm, engaging manner that draws the listener in.

As with his Beta Band work, gently persuasive grooves anchor a scattershot eclecticism, here mostly confined to the 11 fragmentary miniatures scattered around the more substantial songs. These find Mason gazing back at his youth, trying to figure out what caused his depression, and railing against the iniquities of modern Britain.

He knows retrospection is no way forward –“Why do I wander old dreams, why do I mine old seams?” he wonders in “Oh My Lord”, and in “Seen It All Before” he bemoans “opening up a chest full of regret” that ought to have stayed buried.

Download:  Oh My Lord; Fight Them Back; More Money, More Fire; A Lot Of Love