Mason Jennings's debut album was the first local music I discovered after moving to the Twin Cities in the fall of 1999, my curiosity piqued by an enormous display inside the Cheapo on Snelling Avenue. I quickly fell in love with the quirky album, a home-recorded folk-pop collection that managed to swerve between creepily unhinged ("Godless") and poignantly heartfelt ("Darkness Between the Fireflies") without falling apart. The ensuing years saw my fandom falter as subsequent records gradually added gloss and sanded off the rougher edges. By the mid-2000s I was only sporadically following Jennings's output and had consigned him to the breezy singer-songwriter camp, good for a Sunday cleaning soundtrack and little else.... More >>>