Jason Zac Band – The Absence of Laughter (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 01:14:38 minutes | 752 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Jazon Zachariah
From the first dramatic sequence through the highs and lows of the journey that is The Absence of Laughter, Jason Zac Band constructs a self-contained world that is both beautiful and dark. Eclectic, powerhouse talent is harnessed in this stunning expression of a myriad of feelings. The band has progressive chops to keep casual and music-literate listeners hooked. The lyrical content is elevated by the choir, and the instrumentation is brilliant. The transitions in moods and feelings are mediated by thoughtful orchestration. Fearlessly written and masterfully mixed, JZB’s album requires that you take the time and listen.
The first step in the musical journey of this album is a synthesis of many beautiful and haunting variations. The quickened pace in ‘Don’t Turn Away’ drives the song. The breakdown on this track is terrific, with the heavy strings and swing feel keeping you locked in and nodding. And just when you get comfortable, the fast-paced rhythm takes over, returning you back to the baseline. ‘Redemption’ takes the same feel and somehow softens it, allowing you to reflect on the stunning mix of this track. The vocals and harmonies redeem the dark mood from the first two tracks, and leaves you wondering where will this go?
‘Jellyfish’ at first strikes you as the middle-of-album ballad, but in what is becoming true JZB spirit, the middle of the track snaps into a hook that I could have sworn I was ready for. The way the soundscape expands while still being vocal-centered is sheer brilliance. The sawtooth lead synth solo leading into the harmonized bass-vocal section is held together superbly with the drums. One thing to keep in mind is how intricately different musical flavours have been woven together into stunning tracks. There is no wasting time trying to get the listener’s attention. Anything that is not prominent in the mix exists to provide the exact tone and feel that the band wants to you experience. This has been so meticulously executed that it may slip under the radar of the casual listener. Which, you should not be.
01. The Great Divide
02. Don’t Turn Away
05. The Dark Spiral of Time
06. Wayfarer’s Dream
07. The Absence of Laughter
09. We keep Marching on
10. Death and the Moonlight
11. Like a Woman Scorned
12. When a Storm Comes
13. The Absence of Laughter (Piano Reprise)