Jason Hartman – On The Run

2009-10-27 08:43
On the Run
He's making the music he wants to make, but it isn't necessarily what his audience might want to hear. Perhaps that's the sucky thing about breaking into the biz through a medium like Idols. There's this pop persona who's trying to win, and then there's the musician behind it trying to get his big break. Jason's fans fell in love with him on Idols, singing Bryan Adams covers and such like. Now on this album we're discovering a different artist altogether.

That's not so bad, though. Instead of a factory issue, primped and manufactured pop star, Idols has offered us a new singer/songwriter with a lot of potential and a bad-ass attitude to boot. At the very least, it's refreshing.

"On The Run" needs your loving attention. Don't expect to pop it in your front loader and clutch your chest screaming (like you did when he performed on Idols). Be gentle with it. Jason's commanding and caressing voice is still there, so take your time through the tracks and you'll discover a few gems lurking beneath the awful photoshopped cover.

You've probably heard the title track on the radio, and it's great for radio, but when you read the lyrics, it feels thrown together like a sloppy gatsby. But hey, all pop stars know you don't need lyrics to get playlisted. Jason gives his cover of the Eagles' "Hotel California" an up-tempo spin, which unfortunately suits neither him nor the song. Essentially Jason needs a little more time to discover what works best for him.

That said, Jason isn't a bad songwriter. He wrote "Today" which features guest vocals from Sasha-Lee Davids and together these Idols make a hot, catchy track that shows off the reason why they were in the top two – their incredible lungs.

Jason didn't take himself too seriously, though. "Supafly" is so catchy but so damn cheesy! "That's Why I'm gonna love you long time yeah" sounds like something a naughty 16-year-old sucking a lollipop would say. Other lines in the song like "I will be your swivel stick" and "You can jump me anytime" take the piss out of corny pickup lines and everything that goes along with hooking up in seedy bars like Crossways where he used to play.

"You're The One" is where you'll find the old Jason. It's a well put together track where he's at his most honest. He's always worn his heart on his sleeve, and on "Save The World" he embraces his environmental concerns using his green thumbs and impressive falsetto to convince his audience that nature is naaice.

While this album isn't what I expected, it's obvious that it's what he wanted. He's got the voice, the skill, the maturity and image to make it big. I just wish he wasn't so hard-ass about his music and would take a little well-intentioned advice.

Jason Hartman is the luckiest guy in music right now. He's a down-to-earth farm boy who won a popularity contest and then got to call almost all the shots on his debut album. It doesn't get easier than this. But what has he done with this incredibly fortunate opportunity?
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Sparry 2009/10/23 7:07 AM
Well done Jason you really have achieved what you wanted! Love you lots
Uncle 2009/10/23 8:51 AM
Nadia 2009/10/23 9:25 AM
I think sam is tone def, Jasons music and lyrics are awsome.
Bra G 2009/10/23 10:00 AM
Jason Hartman has earned his rightful place in SA Music history way long before he entered Idols 2009 where he initially lost and then eventually was declared joint Winner with Sasha Lee. He was playing the local circuit with his band and this enabled him to understand just what his audience wants and the variety of material of singing the pub circuit has ensured a great learning opportunity and apprenticeship.Unlike the fast tracking of instant celebrity in the entertainment industry, Jason took a totally different part and it shows in his writing,production and performances. Jason Hartman is the real deal! Well Done. Bra G.
#1 Sasha-Lee Fan 2009/10/23 4:42 PM
Sasha-Lee is so much more of an Idol than Jason. Whilst Jason's limited appeal only extends to those tannies & boere meisies that live along the backroads of the Karoo and Pretoria, Sasha has that broad international appeal of a real pop star. I think the South African music industry needs a serious wake-up call. We can't keep complaining that our music doesn't compare to big international acts if we keep making music that has such a narrow appeal. Let Sasha release her album at the same time and let’s see what the records say...I'm almost certain that she'll out-sell him by a huge gap.
Lucinda 2009/10/24 10:00 AM
I dont agree with the whole Jason following advice thing! I think the album is out of this world and shows a musician who can step out of the idols box and make his own music. In SA we have enough moulded clones and to watch and hear someone doing what musicians do - is refreshing! On The Run is, in my opinion, one of the best albums to come out of South Africa. I hope that Jason carries on doing it Jasons way because its that, that will make him a unique artist who stands out from the rest. I cannot rave about this CD enough! You state that he got to call all the shots on the album - I am so glad he did. Wrote most of the songs, played all the instruments on the album (except the drums of course) - calling that easy is just laughable. Getting songwriters, etc in for him - now that would have been easy.
Wilhelm 2009/10/24 9:56 PM
This review was, frankly, disappointing. I wonder if Sam actually took the effort to really listen to the CD - or maybe even read the words printed on the "awful photoshopped cover". The fact that no mention whatsoever was made of the strongest songs on the album (Mr Mend, Chasing Stars, Collide) tends to corroborate this point of view. OK, this version of Hotel California may not be to everyone's liking, but it does put a new and interesting slant on one of the historical rock music standards, and the bravery to actually do this needs to be recognised. Also, don't forget that Jason is much more than just a singer - he's also a guitar virtuoso and impresario, and this arrangement gives him plenty of scope to show off his considerable skills at this instrument. As for the "bad-ass attitude" and following advice, just the following observation: The man has the strength of his convictions to make the music he believes needs to be made. Though there are a number of fairly conformist tracks on the album, some even crossing over into the "poppy" genre, with easy lyrics and catchy tunes, his character shines through on each and every song. His lyrics often show a startling depth of emotion and wisdom, while the musical interpretation is pretty near flawless, the vocal performance powerful and his compatability with various musical genres astonishing. Quite simply, I'd struggle to think of any other currently active recording artist that can do so many things, and do them so well. We should rejoice, and thank him for breathing fresh life into a stagnant music scene, rather than vaguely criticizing him for not taking "well-intentioned advice" from someone who clearly couldn't be bothered to get under the skin of a remarkable effort. Well done, Jason. You've proved to the whole country why you won the competition.
Wilhelm 2009/10/24 10:03 PM
And #1Sasha-Lee Fan: I find your remarks in extremely poor taste. To type-cast all Jason's supporters as "tannies & boere meisies that live along the backroads of the Karoo and Pretoria" smacks of a prejudice that has no place in modern South Africa. I really hope that you represent a minority view, and that not all Sasha-Lee fans carry such a narrow-minded view of their fellow citizens. And as for Sasha-Lee's sales success, I agree that there's a strong possibility that she will out-sell Jason's debut album. Vastly more Corollas are sold than Rolls-Royces. But sheer quantity does not necessarily mean higher quality.... And do we really need another Beyonce? Isn't the one we already have one too many?
TD 2009/10/25 5:59 PM
Wilhelm, brilliantly put! And Sam, you are entitled to your opinion, but I find some of your statements contradictory, and I hope that people will really listen to the album first before judging it negatively because of your personal views and comments. So Jason got his lucky break and is making the music he wants to make. Wasn't that the point of it all? You say he is down to earth, but he also has a bad-ass attitude? Is that because he stood up for what he believed in? Thankfully he didn't take a "little well-intentioned advice". Is this what his audience wants to hear? I'm sure I don't only speak for myself when I say: hell yes! If you have ever seen Jason perform live you will know what I mean, he is a rocker and a master of his guitar, and from the first guitar-strike and that voice, I was captivated and enjoyed every single track on the album, and it's not every album that can lay claim to that fact. It is refreshingly different and demonstrates Jason's talent as a guitarist, singer, song-writer and someone who can think "out-of-the-box". To #1 Sasha-Lee Fan,this album has nothing to do with Sasha-Lee, so why are you even commenting? Slinging mud like that is NOT COOL! Great Album Jason. P.S. (I like your "photo-shopped" album cover!)
RealityDan 2009/10/26 11:27 AM
My advice..listen to the CD again. If that does not change your "view"..have your ears tested.
Correction 2009/10/26 3:07 PM
Um, Sam that would be CROSSWAYS - that "seedy" bar Jason used to play at.....maybe you need to assess your journalism skills before writing your reviews.
Milo 2009/10/26 4:20 PM
Jason is the only person that, in my opinion, entered this industry with a BIG BANG and continues to do so. He is an amazing and talented young man that has sooooooooooo much to offer .....he writes his own songs and plays various instruments. For a first album this is an amazing one and look forward to many many more. He will always have our support. WE LOVE YOU JASON!
Sam 2009/10/27 8:41 AM
@Correction> It is Crossways indeed, my apologies. I clearly don't spend enough time visiting these seedy bars...
@sam 2009/10/27 2:29 PM
Sam I think you misunderstood what Correction was saying. He was stating that, if articles are going to be written, let them be thorough and correct in their detail or it brings into question all the "facts" in the article. Simple journalism 101 really.
RealityDan 2009/10/28 8:38 AM
My..my..on the defence immediately Sam. We must have touched a nerve!
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