COLLAPSING INTO REALITY by Toni Wylder is a quantum leap into the infinite world of musical mentations. It is the type of CD that would make Allen Ginsberg stand up in his grave and howl. It’s the type of CD that a music major at Harvard could do their doctorate thesis upon. It’s the type of CD that should make the Music Hall of Fame open a new wing titled Musical Journeys Through The Mind’s Imaginations. And it’s the type of CD that Toni plopped into my hand one night at Your Big Picture Cafe’s weekly Saturday open mic.
And when I say plopped, I mean plopped: no label, no cover, no title, no nothing. Just a blank CD and Tony looking down at me saying, Hey Dr. Bob, take a listen to this and see what you Think (yes, he actually pronounced think with a capital T, a sound I did not know one could make). So, I did listen. And, I did Think. And boy am I glad I did. COLLAPSING INTO REALITY is a fifteen track, power packed passage into the infinity of the mind’s eye. It’s an inescapable escapading stream of consciousness that surpasses everything produced by such giants as Yes, Genesis, or Emerson, Lake and Palmer – and I even dare include E.L.P’s mind staggering epic Brain Salad Surgery (1973, Manticore Records).
So why am I wasting all this time gushing about the overall CD when I should be describing individual tracks to you? Because there are no words to describe the saturated satiations Tony delivers in interlocked lyrics and metamorphosising melodies which transcend time layer upon layer, and space dimension upon dimension. It strains the mind to think of any other tonal art piece which has been composed and performed in such an intelligent, intricate, interesting and listenable fashion. Of course, I’d like to say Tom Waits’ Bone Machine (1992, Island Records), but sadly that was everything but listenable (sorry Tom, you know how much I adore your music).
So let me just say this. The next time you see Tony Wilder at Your Big Picture Café, Chrystal Hartigan’s Songwriter’s Showcase, Kevros Art Bar, Luna Star Cafe or any other hosts of great acoustic music in south east Florida, tell him you’re ready to COLLAPSE INTO REALITY and see what he hands you.