'Truth is' amazing
By Chris Hislop
Chris O'Neill's installment into February's RPM challenge just may be one of the best, or at least, one of the more interesting efforts submitted to the contest. O'Neill is best known for his work with the Amorphous Band, in which he bangs out tunes on the ol' electric guitar. "Truth is" is an all-acoustic piece, which is aesthetically pleasing on all levels.
When you open the case and remove the disc you get a simple picture of wood, and in it you can see all the lines, imperfections, and grains that make up a board. This is a subtle introduction into what you're going to experience when listening to "Truth is"¦" Furthermore, the front cover sees O'Neill hanging out in the grass strumming the Taylor acoustic that he borrowed from fellow Amorphous mate Cindy Kaza to record the record. This is the overall impression you get of the album -- a dude sitting outside, or in his room just recording his jams.
There are some points where O'Neill misses the note, or the note isn't as sharp as the others and it sticks out, but fact is, you have to appreciate that brutal honesty. There are no overdubs on this record. He's not using technology to fix his mistakes. He's recording that instrument in the spirit of how it's supposed to be played, and he's just enjoying the time.
"Truth is" is entirely instrumental. O'Neill shows his talents by playing some really complex stuff, which is truly amazing. His smooth playing combined with the bit of grit that shows up on occasion makes for a real earthy sounding record that incorporates his tight jazz chops, rock, and blues.
O'Neill is an asset to the Seacoast music scene via his place in Amorphous band. But for something different from his usual style, and something that is really fresh, you've got to do yourself the favor and hear this record. Right from the start his playing will draw you in, and will enable you to get off your butt, and walk over to the player to put the record on repeat, because you'll want to hear it over, and over again. Truth is, it's that good.