(Ripe & Ready)
First Appeared at The Music Box, December 2000, Volume 7, #12
Written by Michael Karpinski
There's something very "five minutes ago" about the New York City duo Amelia's Dream. Or, more literally: "five years ago." Vocalist Amelia S. Gewirtz and keyboardist Harold Stephan may have missed the last ship to Lilithville, but they still seem intent on mining that mid-'90s, Morissette/McLachlan vibe for whatever dull, discarded diamonds may have gotten left behind. Regrettably, what they mostly dredge up is lead.
Even the two most memorable tunes on Amelia's Dream's second record Love Tattoo tend to lean to the tried-and-true trite. First, there's their entirely estimable rendition of the Carlos Santana classic Evil Ways, on which Gewirtz's supple, will-o'-the-wisp soprano suggests Gilligan Island's Ginger crooning "pooh-pooh-bee-doo's" into a bamboo shoot. And then there's Fire in My Heart (re-mix), which — for all its vocoder-of-the-moment, dance-floor familiarity — still manages to kick out a surprisingly beguiling groove.
As for the rest of Love Tattoo, when it isn't reminding us of music we no longer have any interest in listening to (Push the Button is far too by-the-numbers-Alanis-like to make any kind of original impression and the Kate Bush/Pat Benatar imbroglio that is The Aisle with You never should have been allowed out of the soundproof tomb of its time capsule), it's treating us to tedious treatises on identity and empowerment (Footprints and Garden, respectively) and slapping us with laughably shallow platitudes (just try and imagine what Trust Your Gut suggests we should all be doing for maximum soul salvage).
Still, it's difficult to flat-out dismiss a disc as richly arranged and smoothly produced as Love Tattoo — or to casually disregard a music group so absurdly earnest and seemingly eager to please. So let's just sum it up thus: If Amelia's Dream were a movie, they wouldn't be worth the $8.75 it would take to see them play the big screen. But they might just make for a perfectly pleasant rental ½
1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2000 The Music Box