Troubador’s “Between The Truth And The Lies”

“Although the band’s EP, Between The Truth And The Lies, shows some budding talent, these five songs are largely unpolished and restrained. ” -Beth Yeckley

Beth Yeckley

out of 10

Between The Truth And The Lies
March 19, 2010

[Album Artwork NOT FOUND]
Troubador, based out of Delran, New Jersey, is the makings of an anachronistic quartet producing music that would be most aptly enjoyed by those whose tastes dwell in the vein of singer/songwriters.  Well, not just any singer/songwriters though.  Their sound and namesake is best explained by the dictionary definition on their MySpace: “One class of medieval lyric poets who flourished principally in southern France from the 11th to 13thcenturies…” and also as, “Any wandering singer or minstrel.”

Although the band’s EP, Between The Truth And The Lies, shows some budding talent, these five songs are largely unpolished and restrained.  Lead vocalist Erika Ricchini clearly is the heartbeat of the band as her voice is their fifth instrument.  She is able to hint at likenesses to Fly Leaf’s higher notes and Missy Higgins’ depth, but I can’t help but feeling that she’s holding something back in most of these songs.

This vocal-centric approach proves to be a wonderful layer of depth in songs like “I Will Never See The Sun Again,” where her voice rumbles and streams through with passion.  But it also casts a shadow on songs like “Days” or “Between The Truth And The Lies,” where her voice is at times choppy, flat, undecipherable, and what feels like unconfident.

Instrumentally, the band has some successes creating a sound that is eclectic, whimsical, and alludes to the marriage of centuries old festivity and charm with modern day fever.  On “The Floor Is Lava,” the guitar creates a noteworthy skeleton for the song, laying down distinct and bold notes.  But then the percussion falls short on “Between The Truth And The Lies.”  And while “Of Scattering And Sowing” begins with a circus-themed beat in its guitar bursts and piano pounding, it quickly overpowers Ricchini’s vocals with the introduction of the drums.  Here, what started as playful evolves into complete racket by the end of the first minute.

“I Will Never See The Sun Again” is totally worth mentioning because it’s the first time on the entire EP that I actually understand what this band is capable of.  The lyrics are elongated and allow you to dwell in the moment a little longer.  It is a track brooding with emphatic harmonizing that ends beautifully with archaic, cathedral-worthy acappella.  This, I hope, is a sign of their coming maturity as a band.