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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Roger O'Donnell
The Truth In Me
Worlds Fair/Great Society

Rating: 8.2/10 ?


February 8, 2007
I was never really a huge Cure fan. They were a big deal right before I started listening to music, and I never backtracked enough to get stuck. Fortunately enough, you don't have to be a devotee to Robert Smith & Co. in order to enjoy Roger O'Donnell's album The Truth In Me.

In this case, though, it also doesn't hurt to be a Cure fan because there are similar associations between O'Donnell solo and The Cure with O'Donnell as contributing keyboardist. Most obvious is that The Truth In Me is dark and melody driven. But this is largely where the comparisons end.

This debut solo album is a winning formula of emotion, chops, and overall concept. The music is created during a layering process that involves a Moog Voyager synthesizer, samplers, loop machines, and the intermittent appearance of vocals in the form of female singer Erin Lang, who has a similar high-pitched, crystallized voice to Kristin Anna Valtysdottir of Mum

Most of these songs begin as bare-bone structures with nothing more than three or four keyboard notes, and end up with stacked synth octaves, sampled drum sounds, ambient background chords, and keyboard digi-bass lines. O'Donnell coalesces sound in the gradual but often fitting way that a house DJ blends beats and samples with the turn of volume and pitch knobs, but this is nothing like dance music. The layered mix here is entirely natural, and this term is probably the most unlikely one to be associated with an album that is strictly crafted from electronic instruments.

Although the 10 songs of The Truth In Me could never be considered "poppy" or "gripping" in the typical sense, the playlist appeals to generally more developed senses of palette and mood much like the film score songwriting of Craig Armstrong and Kaada, or even moreso Air. Songs "Not Without You" and "He Sent You Angels" are comparable to chapters in a full-built character's life, complete with dynamic buildups and unspoken but colorful displays of emotion. Similar to learning the ways of a human being, The Truth In Me takes several walkthroughs to gain a greater understanding and appreciation, however, the experience once gained is unforgettable.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger

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