This one has me dumbfounded. It's on the prestigious Vanguard label and features a cut with Willie Nelson, but the CD's very flat, uninflected, two-dimensional, and mechanical. Of course, the Nelson track is the best of the disc's 10 pieces—what else would we expect?—but even it isn't very impressive despite. Pictures and Sound is a trio centered in Luke Reynolds, about whom a buzz of some kind has apparently arisen (that's what the promo tells me anyway), having departed a group called 'Blue Merle'. That combo seems to have been a big deal somewhere…I guess.
Reynolds' voice is a distant cousin to Tom Cochrane's but his writing talent isn't even vaguely close to that estimable's level. The guy plays a near-dozen instruments, but that, from all indications, may reveal the entire problem: there's too much of him here. Reynolds hired in a bassist who used to play for, oops!, Liz Phair, which explains a lot, and a drummer who sat for Rickie Lee Jones, as well as a producer who worked with Tom Waits, but...what happened? No essence of the referenced greats or their abettors leaked over here.
Some so-called crit named Bud Scoppa salivated all over the slab in print, a fluorescent scribble display without a candle to light it, claiming he can barely live without it but…er, he kinda gave the game away in closing the review by admitting "Maybe this record won't hit you as hard as it hit me"…BINGO! I couldn't agree more. He and I are now soul brothers, and, one day, when he quits the media propitiation gig, we can both take this Pictures and Sound pizza cutter down to the Salvation Army together. Someone somewhere, after all, should be getting some benefit from it somehow.
Edited by: David N. Pyles
Copyright 2009, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
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