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Nobody's Son

1 rating: -1.0
An album by Jason McNiff
1 review about Nobody's Son

Advice: Lose the Dylan fixation, Jason!

  • Sep 15, 2003
I saw Jason McNiff live when he was supporting resonator wizard Bob Brozman at the Borderline in London recently, stripped back with just his own (accomplished) fingerstyle acoustic guitar and a Fender bass, and bought this CD directly from him after his set without hesitation. He had a sort of sultry charisma (he's a lanky beanpole who looks like something between Beck and a very young, Deram era, David Bowie) and his guitar playing and nonchalant stage presence impressed.

It's certainly a nice listen - ideal accompaniment for tapping Amazon reviews, for example, and the songs are medlodious enough - but I'm obliged to say that, while I was very keen to give Nobody's Son a warm reception, it isn't going to make the next Ryan Adams out of Jason McNiff.

It buries his guitar playing, overlays it with folk instruments which aren't especially well played or mixed, and brings to the fore his decidedly weak voice. This is annoying because it's so obviously contrived: McNiff is doing a carbon copy Dylan impersonation, except where he occasionally slips into a London accent, and my guess is he could probably sing a lot better than this. McNiff needs to find his own voice and sound, and gun for that. I think stripping back to the his live setup and highlighting his guitar playing might be the way to go.

In the mean time, I'm keeping an eye out for his concert listings. McNiff is well worth seeing live.

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Nobody's Son
Label: Snowstorm
Artist: Jason McNiff
Release Date: August 5, 2003

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