It might have taken a picaresque journey to get there, but there’s no doubt Steve Mason has reached the apex of his creativity on Brothers & Sisters - his fifth solo album.
In 2020 then, at a time when the world seemed to be falling apart, Mason went on his own destructive crusade. To completely cleanse himself of any radio-friendly, formulaic mediocrity and rediscover his artistic calling wasn’t an easy process. Experimenting with various approaches enabled him to shed some layers, but it wasn’t until he realised that everything he’s most proud of starts with a song that things really began to positively unravel – as it were.
The finished album is arguably the most open, honest and vibrant record of Mason’s career. Like many of his previous records it marries the personal and the political but does so in an emotive and uplifting manner. Written against a backdrop of fear and uncertainty, and at a time when those in charge lurched from one disaster to the next mismanagement with increasing regularity, Brothers & Sisters is in fact an incredibly joyous, even spiritual, listen.
Brothers & Sisters then is a record about bringing people together through art, music and culture. A lofty aim, no doubt, but one that Mason has achieved – through a lot of perspiration and a little demolition – on the best album of his 25-year career in sonic wanderlust.
“That’s always been the aim,” he concludes. “To change the world through music. I still don’t know what that means. But I’ll never stop trying. Because that’s why I’m here.”
Or, in other words, finding strength, compassion and beauty through creativity. It might have taken a picaresque journey to get there, but there’s no doubt Steve Mason has reached the apex of his creativity on Brothers & Sisters.