"Two weeks ago she was opening for the Persuasions at the Other End. Last week Carolyn Mas, an unsigned New York artist, returned to the same venue a headliner playing before packed houses. That's how quick things can happen for an artist who has been praised from here to Kalamazoo by some of the most respected critics around, including Robert Palmer in the New York Times, whose imprimature lended credibility to Mas's efforts and made her something of a buzz in the industry.
Mas is everything the critics say she is, and possibly a little bit more. Unfortunately she has been labeled by one as 'the female Bruce Springsteen.' That she is most certainly not, although Springsteen is the appropriate reference point. Like Springsteen, 'in his younger days,' Mas acts out her songs by assuming the role of a character on the outside looking in and commenting on the action; her songs are equal parts American and British rock, passionately delivered, professionally executed, bristling with insight. A strong r&b underpinning makes her music all the more intriguing.
The waif-like Mas cuts an engaging figure onstage in her black and white attire, and sports a hat that would make Tom Waits proud. Despite her sunny disposition and the ebullience of her music, she sings most compellingly about broken hearts, faithless love and the absolute necessity of trusting your own instincts. To her credit she maintains an engaging, somewhat macabre, sense of humor, no matter the circumstance. Near the end of her set she sings a song 'about the guy who went around the corner to make a phone call and never came back'--a situation rife with comic possibilities to be sure, but one with a dark side too; the sort of situation the late Paul Kossoff once told us 'you have to laugh at or else you get screwed up.'
Word has it that Mas is soon to embark on a tour as an opening act for the Atlantic Rhythm Section; before that she will probably be signed to a label, given the interest stirred up by these most recent shows. Here's hoping she is not unduly burdened by being compared to a great, fully matured artist. Mas has greatness in her too, but she needs room and time to develop at her own pace."
David McGee & Barry Taylor - RECORD WORLD (3-24-79)