The Ease Down’s first effort is an interesting blend of jazz, rock, and pop. On the plus side, the sound quality is excellent, the artists obviously talented, the songs high-energy, and the tunes catchy.
However, the downside is that for an album called “Shapeshifter”, the songs are remarkably similar. The driving piano beats rarely change, the songs often follow a predictable formula, and particularly on a first listen it is difficult to tell which song is which (when I first heard it, I didn’t notice when the first track switched to the second because they sounded so similar).
That said, this is well worth a listen. If you absolutely love this band’s sound, then you will undoubtedly like the whole album. Additionally, Shapeshifter would make a nice addition to a rock/pop mix to jazz things up a bit. Listening to it straight through gets somewhat repetitive, but if The Ease Down is able to introduce more variety into their sound their next effort will definitely be worth looking into.
The first track (Heavy Hopes) is an excellent example of the band’s general sound, and the second half of the album contains some more varied takes on the general theme.