Customer Reviews: Truth Be Told
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Showing 1-6 of 6 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on August 5, 2003
As soon as you're hit with the raunchy opening notes of track 1, "Unable To Get Free", it's clear that this album is a healthy return to form after the slight departure of BRIDGE. Songs like "Unable to Get Free", "Eventually I'll Come Around", and "Can't See Why" (which features an outstanding chorus) are as meaty as "Carolina Blues" or even "Sweet Talking Hippie".
The album's most similar cousin is probably STRAIGHT ON TILL MORNING, but there is less over-production here than on that album. TRUTH BE TOLD thankfully doesn't seem to contain a "forcefully manufactured" attempt at a hit single (like BRIDGE's "Girl Inside My Head" or STRAIGHT ON's "Most Precarious"). As such, many of the songs are stronger and flow more naturally than most of the songs from the band's last several albums.
Digging a little deeper, there seems to be more of a focus on song structure on this album. For the most part, this is a good thing. Many of the songs feature bridges that change the song's direction (most notably "Sweet & Broken" and "Unable To Get Free").
Having said that, overall this album contains many things we've grown to expect from a BT album. A couple of the songs feature some of John Popper's classic "fast talking". Nothing is quite as eloquent as the legendary final verse in "Hook" mind you, but parts of "Thinnest of Air" are reminiscent the vocals in "Reach Me", and "This Ache" feels a little like a heavier (and better) version of "Felicia". And of course, many songs (especially "Can't See Why" and "This Ache") contain some killer harmonica solos.
Overall, this is a very refreshing album and I highly recommend it. I struggle to find any glaring negatives on it, but one problem is its length. The whole album clocks in at only 47:38. And the aforementioned focus on song structure means that there is not a lot of free form jamming (all of the songs are short, ranging from 3:14 to 4:59). However, it is clear that many of the songs (like "Partner In Crime") lend themselves to potential extended live jams. These songs should be very exciting to see live.
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on August 6, 2003
Gone are the days of the extensive jams, arpeggiated notes / scale runs and egregious tittering of instruments...
Here today is the new BT album ripe with old and new conventions.
Rather than mire down with my own self analysis or track-by-track, I prefer to provide a capsulated review of this new album, and leave it up to your own interpretation...
This new LP heralds a new 'era' for BT following the unfortunate lineup changes over the past few years -- it's thick with rich blues/r&b/jazz tones and a lot less 'pop-oriented' and radio-friendly than their past fare.
More meaty and less radio-conscious than their efforts since 'Four', this is a TRUE fans album looking to get away from their poppier efforts, and wanting more blues. Travel less for it here (sorry for bad pun!)
Each song feels organic, personal and dirty... confessional at points (track: "Blessed Pain"), romp-pop at others (track: "Let Her & Let Go"), surprising (track: "Eventually" --> John stretches his voice to the higher registers without going full falsetto), among others.
What prevents me from giving it a full-5 stars is the sometimes muddy and overwashed, yet clear production. Melodies, runs and trills are there, just a bit too buried at certain moments.
Give this album the shot it deserves.. BT are truly one of the hardest working "jam/blues" MUSICIANS out there these days.. they warrant your attention and your dollars.
However, if you are looking for 'Runaround' part 2, don't expect it here... Their previous album, 'The Bridge' had closer moments.. and in my opinion, a weaker album than this.
Keypoint of this album and band is John's voice... it's gritty, 'soulful', sad, joyous, elastic, etc... harmonica aside, his voice is truly an instrument.
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on September 23, 2003
Blues Traveler manages to do something unique on this album: move forward while getting back to what makes them a great band.
Despite line up changes, the band's improvisational spirit, which is at the core of this group's very being, is clearly evident on this album. But the funky new touches - more keyboards, tighter arrangements, make this a compeling listen.
Sweet and Broken, co-written by Spin Doctor Chris Barron, is a particular standout.
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on August 6, 2003
A solid perormance by BT, but lacking in many areas. Keep in mind there are seemingly two BT's, the jam band and the prolific songwriting BT. Many songs seem to stop short of the later, but the songwriting on this album is unbelievable. Mount Normal is, in my opinion, the best song BT has ever written. They have many catchy little ditties, My Blessed Pain, and Let Her Let Go. My advice, buy the album and give it a listen. Keep in mind this is coming from a guy who thinks Straight On Till Morning and Brdige are phenom albums.
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on March 22, 2006
As were the first two albums I bought by Blues Traveler, this is their true sound as it should be. A bit rough and unpolished, and yet just perfect!
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on October 3, 2003
I've bought every BT album. Here's my ranking of their previous efforts to give you an idea of my taste.
1) Bridge - Might be a bit biased being still relatively new
2) Blues Traveler - Great tracks still hold up
3) Save His Soul - Very underrated album imo
4) Travelers and Thieves - Pretty cool
5) Four - Few good tracks destroyed by over-exposure
6) Straight on Till Morning - Meh.
Obviously, Truth Be Told is most in common with Bridge. Personally, I like the keyboards and Tad on bass. It didn't have as much immediate appeal to me, but I haven't managed to take it out of my cd player. In the long run, I suspect it will end up falling somewhere between numbers 2 and 3 above.
Keep rocking BT!
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