Shuyler Jansen is a throw back to an earlier time in country. This is a purer country, with less electric tricks than most country today. Marty Robbins and Johnny Cash would relate to this guys approach to the genre.
Originally from Saskatoon, and now in Edmonton, Shuyler calls his music a mix of country/folk and rock on his spot on www.myspace.com
That pretty well covers it, although the rock influences are generally kept to a minimum, which is good because Shuyler loses his way the most when he looks to mix in the rock. Play Fair is an example. This one has something of a '60's rock-Beattles undertone, and it simply doesn't fit here.
On the country side, Shuyler fairs better, although he still has some steps to take. Part of the problem is that some songs here are stylistically old country, Shuyler doesn't carry them off with the same guts and grit that a Cash or Robbins used to become famous.
In the end Shuyler might well find he fits best as a modernist folk singer, although the cowboy hat on the CD cover suggests he wants to make listeners think he's a country singer.
Certainly the song Today's Remains is, the best here, with a flavour, and sound reminiscent of Ian Tyson.
The problem for Shuyler is consistency here. He needs a tighter focus, and once gained, the time to bring his voice, music and lyrics into sync. Right now it's just too scattered for me. Check him out at www.shuylerjansen.com
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Jan.30, 2008 - Yorkton, SK. Canada