James Sera - Reality of the Fantasy
2. The Ascension
3. Day of Celebration
4. A Moment in Time
5. Chemistry in Motion
7. In The Evening
8. Reality of the Fantasy
9. Someway, Somehow
Sometimes it is an unfortunate fact that a technically superb musician loses a certain amount of 'edge', purity and creativity through the simple act of becoming so proficient that demonstrating that ability becomes the most important and defining factor – often subconsciously – over and above creativity or 'feel' and the result can be unquestionably excellent, yet somehow lacking in soul or feeling, and at worst can be quite boring. Happily these are not pitfalls that James Sera can ever be accused of slipping into, as whilst there can be no doubt whatsoever that he is a virtuoso guitarist, there is a real passion and emotion in his work that, combined with his unexpected and inspired chord changes and melodic twists, lifts you up and carries you on a wave of instrumental beauty that transverses many moods and atmospheres, whilst retaining a raw and human element that many artists of his calibre tend to lose.
The pieces on this album are extremely emotional and very hypnotic in their vibrancy, my favorite tracks being 'A Moment In Time' and 'Chemistry In Motion', the former placing very unexpected changes in strategic places throughout the piece that can startle the listener by contradicting expectation. The latter is more dramatic, built largely around very nice minor chord changes that once again avoid the obvious, whilst never sounding unnatural or forced. Special mention should go to 'In The Evening' as well, as a nicely placed change of pace roughly mid-way through the album is a master-stroke, and whilst not being my favourite track, is a wonderful composition that demonstrates very well the versatilityof the artist.
It's a great collection of very enjoyable pieces, and I would recommend it not only to those who are drawn specifically to acoustic instrumental music, but to anyone who enjoys good reflective music.
Steven C. Wilson