Jo Dee Messina has been back in full force since the creation of her fan-funded full-length album Me, much to the excitement of longtime supporters and lovers of raw, undeniable talent. While the aforementioned project elicited a sound that the country music icon made her own in the mid to late nineties, it also began to demonstrate a shift toward a born again artist who was breaking free from confines.
Now, with her hands loose, a confidence in the air, and a renewed sense of artistic expression, Jo Dee is playing new music once again, in anticipation of recording the tunes for a forthcoming project. On many fans’ lips is the rock song that is reminiscent of the decorated band Evanescence, “Masquerade“. And though many are discussing Jo Dee’s latest addition to her set, the song has seemingly been kept off the Internet. Until now.
During my most recent interview with Jo Dee (October 1, 2015), she explained “Masquerade” to me, in part.
We’re doing another song, it’s called “Masquerade,” I really just wrote it three weeks ago. It’s the same vein as [“Will You Love Me”]. That same really heavy, rocking layered guitar sounding. And it’s such a blast!
In all actuality, “Masquerade” is “heavy, rocking layered guitar” and so much more. It is haunting keyboard. It is raw and ripping vocals. It is truth. It is life.
Jo Dee performed the new, unrecorded song at Disney’s EPCOT, explaining that she wrote it only a couple of months ago about those who live in a cloud of impossible and unattainable perfection.
I think if someone wants to believe they are pulling off that perfect facade, the only person that they’re fooling is themselves.
The eerily introductory instrumentation overtakes listeners immediately, creating a sense of discomfort and uncertainty that matches the message of the song flawlessly. The fact is, people live in a masquerade-like state in an effort to hide behind reality, and once someone’s mask is removed or a truth is revealed, he/she can no longer stand on firm ground. Painting the perfect musical picture of the nakedness that comes with this type of exposure, the instruments lead in slowly and hauntingly, gradually inviting explosive guitars to shake the earth even more.
The lyrics match the “attitude” of the musicality, placing the recipient of the words in a position of complete vulnerability while Jo Dee uses her incomparable vocals to sing him/her the riot act. The chorus unmasks a disguise of a deceitful person who, incidentally, was the only one who couldn’t see what was lying beneath.
Everyone can see the insecurities, all you try to hide from everybody else. And if you believe no one else can see the truth, the only one you’re fooling is yourself.
Each of us knows somebody who lives a charade every day. All of us have been there and have tuckered away into a place of hiding. This song is him. This song is her. This song is me. This song is you. That ability to touch every person with one message and evoke realization and admission is what makes Jo Dee Messina one of the most gifted singer-songwriters this industry has ever encountered.
Watch Jo Dee Messina perform “Masquerade” below and be prepared to be introduced to an artist you have not yet met before, but one with whom you cannot wait to become better acquainted; and you will — soon enough!
Special thank you to my wonderful friend and law school professor, Heather Baxter, for capturing this video.
Image credit: Disney