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Jason Anderson: The Hopeful And The Unafraid

B+

Jason Anderson

Album: The Hopeful And The Unafraid
Label: K Records

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Jason Anderson is an easy guy to make fun of, and not just because he named his latest record The Hopeful And The Unafraid. For Anderson, there's no song that can't be oversung, no emotion that can't be overplayed, no transcendent rock moment that can't be realized, so long as you have enough passion to make the muscles bulge three feet out of your neck. Here, clearly, is a man with an overflowing reservoir of earnestness rivaling that of a Bright Eyes fan convention. But Anderson's emo Springsteen posturing on The Hopeful And The Unafraid actually isn't laughable at all. It's almost always inspiring, partly because he's a really good songwriter with an eye for conversational detail, and partly because he's an infectious performer utterly lacking in self-awareness. If Anderson gave only 108 percent instead of the full 110, his guileless commitment to classic-rock-styled deliverance would be embarrassing. Instead, he shames cynics into being a little more fearless.