Denver’s Joel Ansett has released his first full-length album, titled The Nature of Us. The record recently edged it’s way into the 23rd spot in the singer-songwriter charts, and for understandable reason. With The Nature of Us, Joel Ansett has proved himself to be an eclectic mixture of Ed Sheeran and Andy Grammer, but with exponentially more funk and rhythm.
Ansett explores all of the expected themes on The Nature of Us, such as love, heartbreak, loss: the usual suspects. But, there’s no need for excessive originality or attempted shock value when you have a voice as smooth and unwavering as Ansett’s. When one hears the crescendos of his acoustic guitar and the incredibly steady backing beats that run rampant throughout the record, the focus isn’t on the lyricism: it’s on the pure, unadulterated auditory pleasure that tracks like “Turn to Gold” offer.
“Already In Love” is typically balladic, as Ansett croons over his lover’s endearing quirks and mannerisms. However, the percussion and repeated snapping gives the track an almost Bossa Nova feel, making one wonder if they’re listening to a song that would be played at a coffeehouse, or a song that would be played in a martini lounge.
“My Heart Is Set” is a welcome change from the sleepy, sorrow-laden tracks that precede it. But, the track is one instance in which you wish Ansett’s voice wasn’t so, well, perfect. “My Heart Is Set” is injected with a heavy amount of R&B, and if it was sung by someone with a little more unconventional of a voice, it would be sheer jazzy perfection, mostly courtesy of the track’s funky bass line and keyboard riffs. “My Heart Is Set” could possibly be regarded as original, and even edgy, if sung by someone who didn’t have a pitch-perfect voice.
All in all, The Nature of Us seems to keep falling back into the pattern of musical monotony, routinely making the switch from wistful ballads to predictable ambient pop tune. Although The Nature of Us lacks much differentiation, the listenability of the rhythmically pleasing tracks are enough to make one settle within their comfort zone.