Earnest Minneapolis folkie bogs down in platitudes
Sensitive folkies have emerged from Minneapolis in the past, and Mason Jennings clearly patterns his work after the one who
journeyed to Greenwich Village in 1961. Like Dylan, he has a nasal, slightly off-key delivery and a penchant for sweet fingerpicking. Unlike Dylan, he also has a penchant for Hallmark sentimentality and easy rhymes. Boneclouds
has its share of pleasant ballads, particularly the lovely “Moon Sailing on the Water,” and the requisite but fine anti-war anthem “Where The Sun Had Been,” which kicks up a righteous fuss. But songs like “If You Ain’t Got Love” and “Which Way Your Heart Will Go” tell all-too-predictable greeting-card tales, and “Jesus Are You Real”—Mason’s nod to vague spirituality—sounds earnestly dippy. Donovan might be proud. Dylan would yawn.