Boyd Tinsley True Reflections

If Tinsley had stuck to what he knows best — violin — the Dave Matthews sideman potentially could have made a fine album. But everybody wants to be a songwriter and, despite the obligatory celebrity guests (Doyle Bramhall II, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and, of course, Matthews) and having all the right sounds in all the right places, True Reflections lacks the creative songwriter needed to push it. Most of the lyrics should have been left in the diary or love letter they were probably extracted from and Tinsley would have done better to have left the singing to someone else. Even in the cover of "Cinnamon Girl" he seems to give a flat performance, matching that of the band who seem to sleep through the entire song. A brief respite can be found in Bramhall's "Listen," although it does sound pretty much like everything he wrote for the Archangels. (BMG)