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Wayland, Sean: Barrenjoey

Sean Wayland is an Australian musician who has twenty-three albums to his credit, his latest being Barrenjoey. He is now based out of New York City where he has a been a stalwart of the jazz scene the last few years.

Wayland's roots are clearly developed in jazz but the artist mixes rock and pop to great effect. Wayland provides vocals and a variety of keyboards and has help from a variety of musicians which gives the disc a definite 'band' feel. He also had a hand in recording, mixing and mastering.

According to the press release the songs and album title were inspired from Wayland's time in Australia. It is a personal album and Wayland proves to be quite the storyteller. He also has a good voice, well suited for his forays into jazz tinged rock and pop. This is a very good album with a strong resemblance to Steely Dan. The title track kicks things off with a retro smooth jazz rock funky sound, tasty guitar and melodic background vocals. The Steel Dan presence is undeniable. "What Do You Know" is another jazzy pop tune with smooth electric piano while "Designer Babies" opts for a quirkier sound jazz/pop sound with varying change ups and cool instrumental bits. Mike Rivets' sax solo is particularly absorbing. "Forgotten" is another irresistible number with melodic sax and keyboard work. There are no less than nineteen tracks and an almost eighty minute running time. A little long perhaps but the quality never wanes.

My only complaint is the mixing could be better as some of the instruments/vocals are sometimes too far buried in the mix but overall I have heard much worse. Because this is a completely self-financed release one must give the artist credit for even putting an album out in the first place.

Although some might find the Steely Dan references slightly derivative, Wayland and his band of musicians offer such delectable tracks, I can overlook the obvious and recommend Barrenjoey with no hesitation whatsoever. Excellent stuff!

Track Listing:
1. Barrenjoey (3:18)
2. What Do You Know (2:23)
3. Better Down South (5:21)
4. Designer Babies (5:43)
5. Slide On Thru (7:09)
6. Forgotten (5:35)
7. Grey Goo (3:50)
8. Jazztafarian (2:17)
9. Looking At You (3:42)
10. Mind Over Mind (5:07)
11. Mirrabooka (3:59)
12. No Credit No Problem (3:17)
13. Repeat Repeat (3:24)
14. Scum Valley (4:04)
15. Tricknology (2:29)
16. Under D Tree Restaurant (3:10)
17. When Will I See You Again (3:23)
18. Will We Ever Meet (3:19)
19. 1800 Funk (5:18)

Added: April 28th 2014
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1820
Language: english

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