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  • Writer's pictureAlex Court

New Single 'Shine Your Shine' By Rob Massard

If you’re going to be a progressive rock singer, there’s probably no better vocalist to emulate than Jon Anderson. Anderson, most famously, has fronted likely the most famous progressive rock act ever, Yes.

Unlike most other rock singers from the late ‘60/early ‘70s, Anderson developed a style that was sonically pure and hit seemingly impossibly high notes when he sang. As aggressive as Yes could sound at its

rocking-ist, Anderson consistently sang – shall we even say it? – so much prettier than most others. With “Shine Your Shine,” the single from Rob Massard’s Ascension album, brings Anderson’s singing style immediately to mind, probably more than any other rock vocalist.

This 7:07 long track begins quietly, a little bit like science fiction movie soundtrack music. At first, Massard applies echoing notes, which bounce back and forth across the speakers like shooting stars in the night sky. It then goes into a more standard guitar picked pattern. Nearly a full two minutes in, Massard’s singing takes its place inside the mix. Massard sings this song of encouragement with a gentle, coaxing tone. It’s difficult to tell if these words are directed at a person or an object. However, the best guess is Massard is singing about nature. He tells us about “the magic of morning.” Massard, who sings often about natural things throughout his album, sounds positively in awe of oncoming daybreak. Perhaps it’s the sun that is the object of his desire, as that is the shiniest object in our solar system.

Along the way, strings come into this track’s mix, which gives this a somewhat classical vibe. It’s not one of those rollicking, Beethoven symphonies, mind you, but more of a contemplative accompaniment. It’s as quiet as any hushed morning can be, before the noise of the day fully kicks in and attempts to drown out inner thought. It’s so early, one imagines, few are even awake and out of bed.

There is no steady percussion on this track. It is not really a piece of rock & roll music at all, even though many rock-oriented instruments are applied to it. It’s a little ambient, like much of Brian Eno’s solo instrumental music. With that said, though, right before Massard’s singing comes along, there is a folkish acoustic guitar pattern that introduces the song’s vocal. It could have been, if completely stripped

down, a John Denver-like country-folk song. In fact, lyrically, it even sounds like something the late country-folk star might have sung. Denver was an environmentally focused artist, before such performers even came into vogue. Rob Massard – whether intentionally or not – sounds like a one who has been inspired by all that Denver accomplished – both socially and musically.

Melodically, “Shine Your Shine” is taken at a slow, deliberate pace. Without a drummer driving it with a distinctive beat, the music flows with a free-spirited floating vibe. It’s an unhurried, sweet and

thoughtful composition. It is also a fine musical backdrop for waking up and facing the day. You may want the cold-water splash in the face of rock & roll to jolt you into new day action. Then again, you might be the type that wants to take it easy and slow. “Shine Your Shine” is just such and easy and slow day-starter.

-Dan MacIntosh


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