James Sera - Realty Of The Fantasy
First and foremost, if you've heard anything about James Sera's Reality of the Fantasy that led you to believe that this is a "neo-folk" album, let me lessen the complexion for a moment. Reality of the Fantasy is a classical guitar album. While, after having listened to the whole record, I am impressed, I do feel that this particular collection is a bit inaccessible to the casual listener. The biggest appeal to this album is it's compositional complexity, which isn't something that many even know to listen for.
The first two songs (we didn't get a copy with song titles) are a bit droll and repetitive and to be quite honest, were a bit hard to sit through. However, I'm glad I did because the rest of the album really starts to pick up. Again, realize, this is a classical guitar piece with a solo guitarist. Having dabbled into classical guitar myself, I found that my notes on the album were longer than this review. There is only so much that one man can do on one guitar, but James Sera quickly makes it known that he can fill enough space for three instruments. The third track begins to sound a bit more like something I'd want to listen to, and by the fourth he really digs deep into a Spanish feel. Dissonance is the name of the game and his full bass/harmony/melody style reminds me of Francisco Tarrega. Best tracks on the album are the fourth and seventh
If you're looking for something dancy/poppy this isn't going to be your first choice. If it's complex guitar work that floats your boat though, this is definitely the album for you. James Sera certainly is a skilled guitarist and I expect only good things to come from him in the future. Maybe a bit of time will help him to figure out how to start an album.
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