Jeff Monn

Reality

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Not too many lead singers for obscure snarling garage bands got the opportunity to record solo albums in the late '60s in a more mature style. For that reason alone, Reality has some curiosity value, and musically it's not bad, though it's something of an oil-and-water project. Jeff Monn wrote most of the material on the album, leaning toward the kinds of sounds the Rolling Stones favored in their folkier 1960s moments; indeed, he tackles a couple of Rolling Stones tunes, "Backstreet Girl" and "I'm Free." Monn sometimes adopted a Mick Jagger-ish aggressive vocal, although he was also capable of more conventionally purer and sweeter tones. His somewhat unhoned talents were embellished by orchestration from Peter Schickele, aka P.D.Q. Bach, making for an odd though not grating apposition of rock and baroque. It's not too memorable, as Monn's songs are only adequate pop-folk-rock with a somewhat muted aggressive attitude. But it's not a bad curiosity, not sounding like too many other recordings of its era.