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No Photographs

5 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Audio CD, January 23, 2009
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Editorial Reviews

A concept album filled with searching passion and amazing songwriting-- sure to become an essential part of any music collection.

Jason Vitelli's No Photographs is powerful and rich; an experience that envelops the listener, revealing more of its gorgeous artistry and depth upon every spin.

Jason, the songwriter behind the curtain, sings a soaring tale of woe through his deep lyricism, spirited performances and compelling band arrangements. His vocals are dynamic and gripping from track to track, beginning with the nasty wail of 'The Worst Thing' and closing with the melancholy whisper of 'Lower East Sigh'.

Incorporating the themes of No Photographs are the musical stylings of blues, folk, hard rock, and jazz.

The blues influence is especially apparent in 'June,' the first single. This song is an epic inspired by the films of David Lynch and is masterful in evoking the soulful riffs of Howlin' Wolf and the sing-speak of Lou Reed. Belting out a mojo-filled refrain, Jason paints a sordid tale that travails throughout the underbelly of dank city streets.

Contrasting this unabashed material are lilting tunes with caressingly soft melodies, many of which express both pain and joy through their subtle phrasing. In the piano ballad 'Apartment,' solitary words shine with hope and desperation, while the cello and vocals waltz in counterpoint, neither finding each other's call to company.

'Morning Sun' meanwhile, is a sunbeam in the clouds, a dreamy saxophone-led ode to the ideals for which one can only imagine.

Jason's good friend and occasional collaborator Phil Robinson guests on the track 'Broken,' lending some plaintive harmonica that suggests a touch of wide open plains under the stars at night, standing in stark contrast to the urban setting of the rest of the album.

Some song arrangements are impressions that wholly shift perceptions. In the dirge to the downtrodden, 'Tortured Lane,' distorted electric guitars spit out angular jabs over heavy drums and bass.

Speaking in no words at all, the instrumental 'Upon the Dead Avenue' conjures spirits through a Djembe-led backbeat and droning tonality.

All in all, this album is a story of impassioned self-revelation. It tells of the struggle between mind and body and couples together the night of despair with the hope of a new day.

This album is No Photographs.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. The Worst Thing
  2. Last Rites
  3. Apartment
  4. June
  5. Tortured Lane (Hobo Song)
  6. Locked
  7. Morning Sun
  8. Zeta Male
  9. Broken
  10. Announce Myself
  11. Long Way
  12. Upon the Dead Avenue
  13. Stars Align
  14. Lower East Sigh


Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 23, 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Roomful of Sky Records
  • ASIN: B001PIFZ9C
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,593,784 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Barry Diament on January 30, 2009
Format: Audio CD
It is not very often that after mastering an album, listening to it over and over again, making changes and listening some more, that when I want to select something to listen to for my own relaxation and listening pleasure, I find myself "Jones-ing" to hear that same album some more. That has been the case with "No Photographs".

The longest I've gone without listening to "No Photographs" has been about a week. I just heard it again and wonder why it took me so long to get it back in the player.

Jason writes wonderful, complex, catchy melodies, literate lyrics (not so common in pop and rock, from my perspective), he can rock, he's soulful, his songs are full of feeling and he's got a great voice that he uses as another instrument in his arrangements.
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Jason Vitelli is one of that rare breed called a lyricist. His songs are not minutes of repetitive hooks, with one decent stanza of story. His words and phrasing are what make every song he sings a complete story and completely his own. Easily switching through the very bluesy "June", the cry of "Zeta Male", and the moody instrumental 'Upon the Dead Avenue' this CD with Jason's warm tenor at the helm is graceful, straightforward, emotional.

"No Photographs" is impossible to label and is just as impossible to put down.
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Format: Audio CD
Listening to Jason Vitelli's new CD,"No Photographs" is a like taking a journey through a myriad of musical genres, all performed with great musical skill and talent. Jason plays and composes on several instruments. This includes having a pleasing and impassioned voice.
I have listened to this CD over and over again, and each time, the songs come alive with intriguing poetic lyrics and unique musical arrangements. I'm sure you will enjoy his music also!
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Format: Audio CD
"No Photographs" by singer/songwriter extraordinaire Jason Vitelli could have been appropriately called "No labels." Mr. Vitelli touches on many musical genres in this auto-biographical collection of one man's journey through life. Kudos to Mr. Vitelli for his outstanding lyrics and vocals, and wonderful arrangements.
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Format: Audio CD
Jason Vitelli sounds so assured and accomplished on this album, that it's hard to believe its his debut!

An intensely personal cycle of songs, No Photographs recalls a time when albums were long-form compositions, drawing the listener in to a richly imagined and vivid world of the artist's creation. Jason's considerable gifts-- in composition, in singing, in playing multiple instruments and in writing lyrics-- enable him to create this genre-blending and deeply intimate portrait of (what seems) to be a very dark and challenging time in his life trying to make it as an uncompromising musician on the often indifferent streets of New York City.

In addition, the spectre of a dark and ill-fated love seems to hang over each of these songs as well. Each song is thick with its own individual atmosphere, yet each seems undeniably related to the others as well. Jason lays his heart so bare in this music that by the time I finish listening to the album, I'm partially exhausted-- in a good way-- and feel like I know Jason personally. That's a pretty big accomplishment for an artist-- in any art form.

Today so much music seems disposable, and that the unit of art is the ephemeral digital single, without context, here today and gone tomorrow.

This album is one for the ages.
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