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September 20, 2017


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VARIOUS ARTISTS: It's Only A Dream
Songs of the Collective Unconscious (Medulla Productions)

By: Alex Steininger

Everyone has had a dream they've wanted to examine deeper, to find out how the dream ends, or to find out if it is foreshadowing something that is going to happen to them in the future. Taking this into consideration, Medulla Productions asked ten NY/NJ songwriters to compose a piece written about one of their dreams. Submitting just their voices accompanied with one instrument, Medulla then turned the tapes over to some guest musicians they invited to sing and perform, and the tracks took full life. As they're quick to point out, this was never meant to be a singer/songwriter compilation.

Keeping in line with the "It's Only A Dream" story line, the songs contained on this disc have a dreamy pop feel going for them. As you sit and listen to the artists singing about their dreams, you can't help but feel as if you're in a dream yourself. The music, for the most part, is all upbeat and very poppy, portraying images of happy dreams. The kind you wish were re-occurring.

Richard Barone's "Wrestling With An Angel" and Parker Dulany's "Blackmarket Dreams" have got to be the standout tracks on this disc. The first one is an acoustic folk/pop number that calls upon your subconscious to fully interpret the song. Quite moving, Barone's lyrical style mixes well with his music. Then there is Dulany's "Blackmarket Dreams," which has an oriental feel at the beginning, and then progresses into a soft, dreamy acoustic tone that appears to be half-asleep. Always keeping the dream feel alive, the line "I'm dreaming now" just helps to re-enforce it.

You might find the first few times you listen to the album it'll put you to sleep. That's because the dream imagery it paints is so vivid, you'll slip into a slumber to accompany the music in the land of the sleepy. But after a few listens, the music will grow tiresome and have no affect on you. The songs become bogged down with their own creative juices and start to struggle for your attention. Good for a few listens, after that the album just gets old. I'll give it a C-.

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