Music Reviews
Jason Montero

Jason Montero

Inside Out

Mojotown Records

Inside Out is Jason Montero’s first collection of original material in more than two decades. The album grew out of a 10-year journey of mastering recording techniques and collaborations with other artists.

Montero began his musical career in New Jersey, followed by relocating to New York’s Finger Lakes area, where he taught himself to play guitar. From there, he went to Arizona, performing locally and then nationally. Montero’s sound merges elements of Americana with heartland rock.

There are many highlights among the ten tracks on Inside Out. “Conclusive Illusions,” opening on a cool drum shuffle flowing into gleaming guitars emanating So-Cal rock textures. Vaguely reminiscent of early Eagles, Montero’s shadowy vocals imbue the lyrics with tones elusively similar to Chris Rea.

The alt-rock-flavored “No James Dean” rides tight, crisp percussion and a fat, expressive bassline. There’s a dark quality to the vocals as if looking back and coming to terms with reality. One of the best tracks on the album, “Gomorrah,” almost slinks along, exhibiting hints of Latin savors. In this song, Montero shows off the lingering, fatal timbres of his voice, giving the lyrics a portentous ambiance.

“Marvel at the Rainbow” conjures up suggestions of Cat Stevens, with its gentle, warm guitars backed by tender strings. Akin to a lullaby, the tune glides on soft, almost pastel textures.

“Rebecca” drips with dirty, reverb-laced guitars atop a dark melody as Montero narrates his wary thoughts about a woman named Rebecca, a femme fatale disguised in alluring form.

“Rebecca walks down the steps of the library / Like an angel holding up her head for all to see / There’s something peculiar about her / Something I can see / Rebecca, please stay away from me.”

“Her Majesty’s List” ties the album off. Deliciously quirky yet oh-so beguiling, the song recalls the film The Madness of King George or Alice In Wonderland, where everyone appears to have lost their minds.

The chorus sums up the delightful bizarreness of the lyrics: “It’s a pain to be caught in the rain when you are insane.”

Decked out in Americana, rock, and even some bluesy tints, with Inside Out, Jason Montero takes listeners on a wonderful sonic voyage.

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