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Tim Reynolds
Alternative Folk

Although he's probably reached his largest audience while touring alongside kindred spirit Dave Matthews, guitarist Tim Reynolds is no mere sidekick. Since the mid-'90s, he's been dazzling audiences with a mercurial array of six-string tricks, alternating between piercing electric playing and intricate, delicate acoustic soundscapes -- the latter of which prevails on this, his sixth solo outing. And by solo, we do mean solo: Reynolds is responsible for every note of these 14 songs, on which he festoons his ethereal picking with clever electronic effects, moody synth parts, and smart, subtle rhythms. His playing is at its best at its most unadorned, as on the hypnotic opener "Is Anybody Here?" and the melancholy "To Touch Yearning," which makes the most of his way with space and string-bending. As with many expansive instrumental albums, there are a few space-fillers -- such as the fussy "Frantic" -- but Reynolds maintains a surprisingly high batting average, not to mention a surprising scope, given the seemingly finite territory covered. Neither overtly new agey nor snootily musicianly, See into the Soul strikes a fine balance between comfort and challenge -- a tough tightrope to walk indeed. David Sprague

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