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Split Coconut
Dave Mason

Columbia PC 33698
Released: October 1975
Chart Peak: #27
Weeks Charted: 17

Most of Dave Mason's solo work has been a rehashing of the styles set forth on Alone Together, his fine first album. Split Coconut is Mason's first successful attempt to diversify that style; the result is a mixed bag of fine, listenable rock.

While Mason's singing hasn't changed much over the years, remaining pleasantly untrained and unaffected, he demonstrates here that his is continuing to experiment and grow as a guitarist.
Dave Mason - Split Coconut
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While a couple of the songs display the fluid, comfortable style he's mastered over the years ("Sweet Music," "You Can Lose It"), others are more innovative. "Split Coconut" is an irrepressible disco stomp and "Save Your Love" has a funky Lee Michaels flavor with some effective use of the wah-wah pedal. Other novelties include "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," which omits the guitars altogether and substitutes marimbas, a guest appearance by Manhattan Transfer and the use of organ on a light calypso number, and "Two Guitar Lovers," in which Mason and second guitarist Jim Krueger swap effective leads.

Split Coconut also boasts David Crosby and Graham Nash on backing vocals, but unfortunately they're so lost in the mix as to be almost inaudible. Still, this is for the most part a very entertaining LP.

- Alan Niester, Rolling Stone, 12/4/75.

Bonus Reviews!

This charming and harmless album is a pleasant way to pass an hour. Mason and his gang are lighthearted about the Caribbean rhythms they use, which is all to the good and just the way it should be. "Crying, Waiting and Hoping" is from the Buddy Holly catalog and proves once again what a minor master he was of simple, direct, and sentimental pop writing. "You Can Lose It" has a persuasive "hook" and would probably do well as a single. Split Coconut is a pleasure -- Mr. Mason, for this relief, many thanks.

- Joel Vance, Stereo Review, 2/76.

Dave Mason, founding force of Traffic and consistently one of the more melodic voices in a sometimes cluttered pop scene, comes up with another strong effort highlighted by his always superb lyrics and a more energetic instrumental background than we've heard from the artist in years. Guest artists here include the Manhattan Transfer, David Crosby and Graham Nash, with Crosby & Nash providing vocal harmonics on several cuts. There have been complaints in the past that Mason's product tends to sound somewhat similar. Yet the fact remains that with his easy-going style, distinctive vocals and lyrics that reach far above most other pop writers, he has been an underlying influence on many minor names over the years. One of the few artists who, it can truthfully be said, has never released a bad piece of product. Fine production here from Mason and Bruce Botnick. Best cuts: "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," "You Can Lose It," "She's A Friend," "Give Me A Reason Why," "Sweet Music."

- Billboard, 1975.

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