Chords of Truth: Reflections of Reality

Chords of Truth

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Here are three things you ought to know about folk act Chords of Truth’s Reflections of Reality remixed double-LP:

1. The 26 tracks on here represent various electronic collaborators’ interpretations of an original 7. If you do the math, that means you’re going to hear each track on Chords of Truth’s initial release between 3-4 times. In other words, lots of songs are going to pop up again and again, though in different forms.

2. If you couldn’t tell by the name of the artist, the name of the album, or the scope of this project, this is very high-minded stuff. For some, it will be too high-minded; it definitely lives in a self-serious world that will turn off some listeners. Check out the opening lines of “Listen” for a pretty standard sample of lyrics from this release: “The Earth is fine, it’s been there a long time / now experts claim we are crossing a line. / Between our lives and all the future time / the precise cause is strange to define.” Honestly, the lyrical content here is kind of like a 100-level philosophy class… or the second Matrix movie.

3. Though obviously on a record like this production will vary from track to rack, in general Chords of Truth’s collaborators choose to place the original vocal tracks very forward in the mix, so much so that you can hear the singer’s every breath. That’s a pretty standard, sensible thing for a typical folk record to do, though Reflections of Reality is not a typical folk record. Listeners may be turned off by singer/guitarist Jason Garriotte’s front-and-center, somewhat monotonous vocalization. He’s got a Roky Erickson vibe going on, if that’s your thing. If it’s not, after a few minutes you may be looking for sweet escape.

Now, because of these caveats, you’re probably going to think that I didn’t like this album. Well, you’d be right – at first. But after I turned it off, I realized that Reflections of Reality had somehow gotten its hooks in me. Some part of my brain really dug listening to this music, and it wanted me to put it back playing again right away. It was almost like withdrawal or something. Weird, right?

I think that’s because Reflections of Reality is incredibly good at creating a certain sonic atmosphere. Even if it’s one you don’t like right away, you can’t deny the inherent and unique moodiness of these two discs. Reflections of Reality, like much great electronic music, crafts a vibe you don’t want to escape from. It’s chill as folk with a bit of a groove, and after a while it just instinctively sounds good.

I can say in all honesty that I’ve never really listened to a record like this before. I feel like it’s the perfect set of tunes if you’re sitting around with your friends coming down from a wild night – or ramping up to one. In a way, it only functions as background noise, but that’s okay. Garriotte and his collaborators have done something special with the merging of two distinct genres here, and even if it’s not everybody’s cup of tea, this record possesses a style it’s hard to deny. In the end, that may be all that Chords of Truth was going for.

Check out more from Chords of Truth on their website.

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