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CD Review

Parallel Universe: Tim Reynolds

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Whether he is collaborating with the Dave Matthews Band or doing his own thing, Tim Reynolds demonstrates a musical integrity that is rarely seen in music today. Preferring the freedom of his own label rather than answering to music industry suits, Reynolds' eclectic style combined with technical mastery creates an album that is inspired and ambitious. The double-disk Parallel Universe spans everything from jazz to reggae to '70s psychedelia. The first CD, Parallel Universe, is a studio-polished blend of politically charged songwriting and evocative guitar work. While the second CD, entitled Invisible Pagan Underdogs, is largely instrumental and explores his more experimental and personal creative pursuit. On the first CD, the instrumental "Industrial Complex" demonstrates Reynolds' deftness of hand as the guitar scorches with intensity while using train samples and backward violin samples to add layers of sound. The 16-minute "Torch of Uncertainty" is a combination of melodies and multi-dimensional twists that move the song to a high-powered ending. Reggae inspired "Tribulation" keeps the spirit of one's inner Rasta by calling upon the masses to "rise above it all...the truth will see you through." CD number two takes us on a wild ride that delves into Reynolds' eccentricity. Reynolds uses a screaming ape sample for the backdrop of "In Flames Beside My Brain" that adds a creepy element to an already dark song. "Alienation" is one of the rare tracks on the album that does not involve guitar; instead it uses a keyboard in an arrangement of mixed samples and sounds that are unsettling but intriguing. The atmospheric "Buddha of Compassion" as well as, "Jupiter's Wounded Soul" are both spiritual and beautifully composed. Reynolds' seamless transitions from soothing acoustic to industrial to new-age world music make each track unique and on this 23-song opus. He successfully pushes the musical envelope in a remarkable display of talent and passion.