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Roger O'Donnell

Truth In Me

(Great Society; US: 24 Oct 2006; UK: Available as import)

O’Donnell was a significant part of the Cure until his unceremonious ouster by Robert Smith in 2005; he created synthesizer textures, as well as contributed extensively to the band’s Internet profile. What had to be a career highlight came when he was asked to contribute to the soundtrack of the recent biopic of synth pioneer Robert Moog. That pround endeavor has been taken too far on The Truth in Me, however. The entire album was created soley with a Moog synthesizer. Wendy Carlos enjoyed a smash hit when she released the all-Moog Switched on Bach in 1968, but the trademark Moog sound hasn’t really changed since then. This is great for artists looking to create some retro Moog magic, but it leaves The Truth in Me sounding one-dimensional and dated.  O’Donnell’s instrumental compositions are mellow, reflective, and often pretty, but the Moog renders them mostly sounding like the beginning of “Welcome to the Machine” or “Shine on You Crazy Diamond”. That’s not bad in itself, but there’s no Gilmour, Waters, Wright or Mason to step in and shake things up. Instead, Erin Lang lends sensitive, girlish vocals to a few tracks, although even she is swamped by the mighty Moog. O’Donnell obviously knows his way around the machine, but his self-imposed limitations also limit The Truth in Me‘s appeal to Cure diehards and Moog enthusiasts.

Rating:

John Bergstrom has been writing various reviews and features for PopMatters since 2004. He has been a music fanatic at least since he and a couple friends put together The Rock Group Dictionary in third grade (although he now admits that giving Pat Benatar the title of "first good female rocker" was probably a mistake). He has done freelance writing for Trouser Pressonline, Milwaukee's Shepherd Express, and the late Milk magazine and website. He currently resides in Madison, Wisconsin with his wife and two kids, both of whom are very good dancers.


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