Dagobert's Revenge

The Mirror Reveals

Frames of Teknicolor

review by Adam Gorightly

Frames of Teknicolor, by The Mirror Reveals, combines a progressive flavor with strains of medieval castles, wavering in the background of a foggy seascape.

A sweet voice of experience floats through this fog, found in the form of lead vocalist Kit Messick, who possesses-for want of a better term-the voice of an “old soul”. At times, it sounds like you’re floating through the soundtrack of The Wicker Man, a druidic wandering through ancient ruins and fields of fresh-bloomed flowers fed by tears. Bittersweet is the best way to characterize these melodies, that with each new listen, seem to grow on the listener more and more. Messick is the glue that binds the musick together, and she guides its unique direction, as she weaves her tales with a subtle fashion in this stunning collection of dark torch songs.

With that being stated, let it be noted that songwriter James Babbo is the brain thrust behind this venture, and Messick, the musical soulmate who interprets his lyrics and melodies. The group’s name is a reference to Lady Galadriel, the elfin queen from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

The opening mood is set by the first track on the CD, “1939”, a moody tale cast amid flickering celluloid images of the past. A haunting background melody sets the stage for the next offering, Messick’s rendering of “Confined”, a song of whose topical subject is about subconscious realms, and the revelations there to be discovered:

“Experience will teach What running couldn’t reach Revelations that wake me from my sleep And I am so surprised Now that I’ve realized What’s gone away…
These lyrics speak on many levels, reminding me of psychedelic visions of bygone days, when I was treated to a fleeting glimpse of eternity, then-when the drugs wore off-was left scratching my head, wondering what it was all about. Although, as with all great music, many differing interpretations may exist.

“Confined” is a song about unrequited love, as much as it is a psychedelic voyage where the meaning of life seemed to crystallize for a timeless moment, only to dissolve when the waves rolled in, washing away castles in the sand, or whatever interpretation one wishes to cast upon an artistic framework that conjures images such as these:

“Sails on a vessel Could lead me far away Waves overwhelming Like words could never say Hoping these worlds collide So alive…
Of course, this song is also about escaping from the self-induced prison walls we erect around ourselves and others. Once again, The Mirror Reveals seems to be exploring subconscious territories, which can take on many meanings and moods. At least that’s my impression of the songs found on Frames of Teknicolor. Many of which feature Babbo’s haunting guitar stylizations, reminding me, at times, of Jimmy Page’s more mellow moments on Houses of the Holy. Case in point: “Dreaming of Myself”, wherein Messick weaves her delicate vocals against the backdrop of Babbo’s sublime chord progressions.

The songs, in succession, reach new levels of meaning to the listener, and each song builds upon the next, creating a running thread of bittersweet imagery, cast against a fog light in the distance, leading the seeker back to their home, through the mists of their own self-realization.

Buy Frames of Teknicolor at amazon.co.uk.

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