Album review: Willy Mason - Carry On

The Martha’s Vineyard troubadour keeps on keepin’ on with an assured return to form

With comparisons to Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Leonard Cohen and Neil Young somewhat inaccurately showered upon Mason when he was barely out of his teens, Carry On finds him doggedly doing just that.

Returning to his Martha’s Vineyard home after years of touring to write, Mason decamped to Streatham in south London to lay down these tracks with Hot Chip and MIA producer Dan Carey.

The result is a robust, progressive and poetic riposte to his slightly stuttering sophomore record When The Ocean Gets Rough.

His lyrics remain as thoughtful and reflective as ever, and Carey’s light touch doesn’t add unecessarily to the alt-rock and folk-influenced guitar, strings and Mason’s unmistakeable weathered caramel vocals.

Elements of dub and reggae are knitted in amongst the slide guitar and journeyman strums, and Carry On feels slicker, more expansive and assured than either of its predecessors.

At only 27, Mason is just hitting his stride with this poignant, authoritative set.

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4 stars