The impending release of Omid Master’s third studio album is previewed nicely by three recent songs – “I’m Going Crazy”, “Only You”, and “When I Close My Eyes”. They show the progress of a recording artist who, after two albums, is scarcely resting on his laurels. These three tracks expand on the considerable potential he demonstrated on previous albums while refining the formulas and style he exhibited over the course of those two releases. These are not labored performances. It is undoubtedly true that they are the result of a lot of hard work but Master is one of those rare artists and writers whose finished products often sound like they were cut live, mere minutes before the listener hears them, and simply came out that way and just as effortlessly. It’s an illusion, naturally, but it’s one of the most pleasing illusions a music listener can likely experience. These three songs bubble over with relaxed confidence and immense musicality.
“I’m Going Crazy” opens things up with stylish sophistication that never becomes so self-important it shuts out potential listeners. Omid Master’s experience performing for tourists and paying audiences alike has given him a well oiled instinct for knowing exactly how far he take listeners with him and what’s required to pull it off. The song has a nice tempo and an airy feel that nicely complements the fast paced vocal melody. It doesn’t seem like it would be, but the song affords Master an opportunity to show off his emotive range and he manages to embody all the possibilities of the title without ever drawing too much attention away from the song or musical arrangement. His lyrics are well suited to their environment but they also have a plain-spoken quality that’s as notable for its articulate presentation as it is for how neatly it locks in with the vocal melody and musical arrangement. “Only You” has a seductive, slightly swinging tempo and acoustic guitars that are played with a notably percussive quality. Master shows his merits as a singer once again as he knocks out the winding vocal melody and fills it with emotional in a seeming cakewalk for this talented vocalist. Master doesn’t come at you with fireworks and vocal histrionics intended to impress – he’s simply a polished vocalist of the first order who makes full use of his vocal potential.
The drumming is an important reason why the third song, “When I Close My Eyes”, is so successful. It never strains the boundaries of good taste and sets an authoritative tone for the performance that gives added drama to the song. Omid Master makes an important impression with his most emphatic performance of the three songs and it’s a real lung buster that ends up sounding ripped from his every day life and given the pleasing veneer of art. Master is one of the more talented singer/songwriters working today and his talents with pop music are invested with substance you rarely here nowadays in that area.