2003-2004 saw Jason Roe's first airplay on Los Angeles' KCRW, one of the country's most influential radio stations for emerging artists. 'Freedom' & 'Carbon Based-eMix' from the EPisode II along with 'She' from Probably DeEP have been featured. This release is a collection of the 3 EPs released in 2003 & 2004. The first EP released, 'Probably DeEP,' finds Roe (temporarily) eschewing his introspective tendencies in favor of a straight-out modern rock sound that is certainly more radio-friendly, albeit no less satisfying, than his previous musical foray. The first track, 'She,' is an infectious, blues-infused, diddy that proudly wears (and earns) the badge of being Beatle-esque. The song is written from an amused and slightly sarcastic outsider's perspective of a man bewildered by the chaotic mood swings of a frustrating, yet alluring, female companion - a theme that often pops up in Jason Roe's songs about male/female relationships. Despite it's angst-ridden subtext, 'She' is a playful toe-tapper guaranteed to get audiences' heads bopping along to it's irresistible beat. Track Two is the titular 'Probably Deep,' a rousing rock anthem destined to become a mainstay at Roe's live performances. As with 'She,' Roe sings in a semi-sarcastic fashion about the disconnect inherent in many relationships, yet as the title suggests, he pokes fun at his self and his inability to communicate properly as part of the problem. However, Roe sings,'Don't be so serious/you can't take a joke/you misunderstood every word I spoke,' indicating that the song is merely intended as a wink and a smile. The third track is a cover song, a first for Jason Roe, of Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians' ubiquitous 1988 hit 'What I Am.' Here, though, Roe amps up the power and turns a quirky melody about the bliss of ignorance into an assertive and forceful hard rock song that is more of a declaration of someone staking claim on their place in the world. The once-cutesy, naïve, lyrics,' Philosophy is the talk on a cereal box/religion is a smile on a dog,' now take on a more defiant stance. In Roe's version, the song becomes the musical equivalent of a sheepish grin turning into an aggressive sneer. Roe underscores the song's catchy, vibrant, rhythms with a low, synthesized, hum, it's ominous sound portending a voice that is demanding to be heard. The last song on the EP is an alternate version of the title track, a reprise that is more than welcome considering the song's overtly infectious groove. Roe's second EP release, amusingly titled 'EPisode 2,' finds Jason Roe in his usual contemplative state, and although the songs are missing the rock-guitar crunch of the previous EP, the music exerts a power even more visceral than ever. The opening track, 'Carbon Based,' begins with the gentle sounds of rain falling, signaling a severe mood change from 'Probably DeEP.' In the song, Roe sings about humankind's machine-like existence, lamenting a once-great culture that is now 'out of touch and indisposed.' The songwriter cleverly juxtaposes the real and the superficial in the oft-repeated refrain, 'Carbon based teleconnected/Hybrid race so disconnected/Organic complications/Cybernetic saturation.' Despite the melancholic (and somewhat sardonic) tone of the song, 'Carbon Based' is clearly written from the perspective of someone who clings to the hope that mankind will one day cease to be 'defined by what we're sold.' The song features Jason Roe's strongest vocals to date, and the music, while far more electronic-based than previous efforts, is no less soulful. 'Freedom,' the EP's second track, features an even more techno-laced groove than the opening track, yet it echoes the theme of an individual struggling to find peace of mind in a relentlessly fast-paced world. (Ironically enough, the song is remixed by eMachinery.) Here, though, Roe paints the portrait of someone who is suffocating from the struggle and therefore is trying to escape his environs, but, as Roe wryly suggests,' Freedom is so cheap.' Again, Roe employs sarcasm to great effect, leaving the listener curious as to whether 'cheap' signifies something that is easily obtained or something that ultimately has low value. Like many of his influential predecessors, the Beatles and Pink Floyd namely, Jason Roe prefers to give his melodic musings an air of mystery. The second EP concludes with an extended mix of 'Freedom' that further enhances the theme of technology encroaching on the plight of the thinking and feeling human animal; one could easily imagine this, or any of the songs on this collection for that matter, being featured on a soundtrack for a science-fiction film along the lines of a 'Matrix' or a 'Blade Runner.'
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