Former Mayday Parade and Go Radio frontman, Jason Lancaster, has ventured out on his own with his debut solo album, As You Are. To be released on June 23rd, As You Are gives an inside look into Lancaster’s life and shows that, regardless of where life takes you, never give up on what you are truly passionate about.
The album opens with “Change,” a short song that is dedicated to his fans and real friends. Lancaster shows his appreciation for those who have stood beside him throughout his career. He is reassuring people that he is not changing who he is. What I love about this song is it could be used for anyone in any situation to show gratitude and appreciation.
Lancaster fills the album with fun beats and meaningful lyrics. A perfect example of this is the track “Growing Up.” You are instantly introduced to music that makes you want to dance. The song is about staying young and having fun. The chorus states, “Growing old’s a fact, but growing up is optional.” I love songs that capture the feeling of never losing your inner child and staying youthful. Another great part of this song is that you get those deeper and more intense vocals from Lancaster that fans are used to and adore.
One theme you find throughout As You Are is love, but it’s not just the mushy kind. “Come Back” tells of love lost and trying to prove you are a better person. During the chorus this track is very reminiscent lyrically of Mayday Parade songs from the A Lesson In Romantics era. There is a comparison of life to parts of a song, which is something often found in MP songs.
“Save Me” is about needing love, but not from a person. It’s about needing love from Jesus. I hate saying having this song on the album was a bold move for Lancaster, but in a way, it was. If you’ve kept up with him over the past year, it’s not a surprise he has become more vocal about his religious beliefs. But honestly, the last thing I was expecting was to hear a song that so obviously expressed his beliefs, especially one that appears so early in the album (it’s track #3). I think the track is great and I applaud him for being so open. It’s tracks like this that show that Lancaster is just being himself with this album, and you’re getting a glimpse into who he truly is.
Now, even though you aren’t only getting mushy gooey love songs throughout, you won’t be disappointed when you do come across those “typical” love songs. “You ‘N Me” is about not wanting to be with anyone else and pointing out the cute things the one you love does. “Shine” is all the things you want to hear your significant other tell you, in song form. You want someone who is going to be there for you no matter what, and someone who will help you get through all the tough times, and this song is a proclamation of all those things.
There are two tracks on As You Are that perfectly capture a love song, but not in the most typical of ways. My personal favorite is “Climb Up To My Window.” It’s all about finding love and finding the right person when you’re least expecting it. It’s a super flirty and fun track, but at the same time it’s full of passion and vulnerability. I love how Lancaster can capture so many emotions with his voice. He has so much control that his transitions from being flirty and soft to intense and full of passion are effortless and beautiful. (Check this song out at the end.) The other track, and probably the most personal, is “Just In Time.” This is the song Lancaster sang when he proposed to his now wife, Dee Duarte. By default, I think this is best song on the album because it comes from the most sincere and beautiful place within Lancaster. The love he has for his wife is made so clear and it’s so sweet. I have seen posts where Duarte talks about her daily routine, and it includes listening to this song, and if that’s not the cutest thing, I don’t know what is.
Lancaster concludes the album in the coolest way possible, with a cover of “Hey Jude.” He is truly in his element with this one. He stays true to The Beatles, but adds his own rock influences in to the mix, giving it a modern feel.
It is very clear that Lancaster is in a good place in his life right now. The majority of the tracks on As You Are are upbeat and happy. The best word I can use to describe this album is perfection, but that’s not unexpected when it comes to Lancaster. He is a professional and has been in the industry for such a long time. His craft is flawless, and because of that, he is not going to release something that isn’t perfect. Each song flows from one to next, hitting on different emotions as the album progresses. He has the perfect opener and closer, and everything in between works like a well-oiled machine. What Lancaster releases to the public will always make sense, and you’re not going to hear something that doesn’t.
You can purchase a CD of As You Are here. And be sure to buy concert tickets when he goes on tour.
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