Written as the score for an eye-boggling computer-animation video of the same name, the nine selections on James Reynolds' album "The Mind's Eye" take on the not-of-this-world sheen of their dreamlike inspirations.
This is music, as the title implies, more from the mind than from the heart - slick, hypnotic, slightly synthetic. Yet the compositions can also be described as colorful, occasionally wry and often intriguingly "different." Mind games can be like that.As with music from other soundtracks, it helps if you've gotten a glimpse of "The Mind's Eye" video - populated with animated cyborgs, jogging Chromosauruses (sleek metallic reimaginings of Tyrannosaurus rex) and impossibly alien birds, beasts and machines. Still, several of the themes work just fine on their own.
Among the strong cuts is the opener, "Creation," which sets the tone nicely, for industrial-strength fantasy is the name of the game here. Musically, Reynolds takes the ground between new-age instrumentalists Ray Lynch (blips, gurgles and sweet melody) and David Arkenstone (imagination, exotica and grace). But as "Creation" demonstrates, musical invention can be made a servant to visual necessity, and, to a small degree, that hinders the independent effectiveness (and enjoyment) of these compositions and performances.
"Technodance," a sassy-silly hip hybrid of pop and jazz that borrows a bit from Yello's "Oh Yeah"; "Love Found," sort of "The Love Theme from `The Mind's Eye,' " and the soothing "Leaving the Bonds of Earth" do succeed on their own - but not as well as the final title track, the most sedate and organic piece in the whole collection, although it essentially acts as music for the end credits . . . .
A few - "Civilization Rising" and "The Temple," in particular - seem out of place and unfocused when heard detached from the astounding animation for which they were created.
For this recording, Reynolds, on keyboards, electronic percussion and guitar, leads an ensemble that includes, among others, such top-notch performers as pianist David Lanz, wind players Nancy Rumbel and Richard Warner and percussionist Luis Peralta. - Ray Boren (Deseret News)