Produced by The Elder's Brent Hoad, Tabla Rasa's third CD, "Light Years" is a collection of music that reflects the quintet's eclectic rock roots while demonstrating their growth over the last seven years into what can only be described as "soular-energy music." The group moves through a variety of music, ranging from the Latin-grooved "Man on the TV," the Irish rocker "This Day is Yours and Mine," and the pop-flavored "Hammer." The group also covers a mellow ground not yet found on their previous releases with the Joshua Tree-esque "Caravan" and "Little Man," which dips into the country music influences the band grew up with in small town Missouri.
Addressing social and spiritual issues has always been at the heart of TR's lyrical palette, and "Light Years" expands on those themes while taking a more personal tone in songs like the moody "Devils Outside," "Witch" and the angry "Eclipse." The balance is struck between dark and light with positive images found in the lyrics of "Blackbird," "Roots," and "Purple Straw Hat" where the band re-enforces its reputation of being full of energy and willing to share it.
With the strong rhythmic heartbeat created by drummer Justin Skinner, percussionist Curt Lane and bassist Aaron Lewis, Tabla Rasa redefines roots rock by integrating Matt Smithmier's aggressive, melodic mandolin and Mike Tipton's fluent acoustic guitar into a musical fusion. The outcome is light years from the status quo and as refreshing as a cold one on a summer's day.
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5. Little Man
6. Man on the TV
7. This Day is Yours and Mine
8. Devils Outside
9. Inspiration Song
13. Purple Straw Hat