Critics have a lot of great things to say about True Nature. The Rock and Roll Report summarizes the positive feedback in one sentence, “If you like modern day rock, check this band out.” That Same Reviewer also awarded True Nature, best album of the year award in both ’09 and ’11. True Nature is a complex tapestry of known musicians, lyrics that merit a closer look, surreal album imagery, and much more. At the heart of all that is one man: Lou Barlow.
Along the way Barlow showed success in original high school and college bands. An award for ‘Composer of the Year,’ at NYU was a sign-post on that path. But, Barlow says that his rock sound had not been fully realized until True Nature came into being. Like many musicians Barlow traces the origins of his fire to one album, Peter Gabriel’s So.
The lineup of True Nature is not simple. For recordings thus far (although that might change in the future) Barlow enlisted the help of some well-known musicians with impressive résumés. For Aaron Comess of The Spin Doctors fame is one of those names and Tony Levin (the bass player on the Peter Gabriel album that started Barlow’s journey – also known for his work with John Lennon, Alice Cooper, King Crimson and more) is another. Best known as the current guitarist in David Bowie’s band, Gerry Leonard (who has also worked with Duncan Sheik, Suzanne Vega and Rufus Wainwright) adds yet another big name to that mix.
The photographer responsible for the You Shouldn’t Have to Shout So Loud album’s art work is Glen Wexler, well known for creating photo-real, “Improbable Realities,” as Wexler himself best describes it. Wexler has created album covers for Van Halen’s Balance, Black Sabbath’sReunion, Rush’s Hold Your Fire and many more, making him yet another of those “big names.”
Barlow’s intent is to produce lyrics that touch people yet also convey a sense of spirituality. That’s the kind of essence that transcends religious doctrine or dogma and touches the soul and essence of people.
“This innocence incredible / Everywhere I turn now / We’re changing way too slow.” From: “Only Love”
“Who is even trying to face the void? / We used to see so far ahead.” From: “You Shouldn’t Have To Shout So Loud”
While the lineup has been in flux, a live version of the group with different musicians has performed shows and future recordings might yet include different musicians, True Nature is a band. It’s a ‘project’ band with the vision of one man at its heart, but a group effort in reality.
“True Nature is alive today for what Rock was ever born for: To liberate the hip, wisely agitated people of the world who dig this type of vocal strained, guitar driven, drum heavy music – in one of its present most incarnations,” as Lou Barlow describes it. True Nature is spiritually motivated, hard driving, modern pop rock.