Dreamin' My Dreams
First Appeared in The Music Box, September 2005, Volume 12, #9
Written by John Metzger
After watching her commercial success begin to evaporate, Patty Loveless viewed the bluegrass revival that was spurred by the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack as an opportunity to embrace her roots as a Kentucky-born, coal minerís daughter. The result was Mountain Soul, an album that fully exposed the blend of classic country, bluegrass, honky-tonk, and gospel that forever had informed but often remained buried beneath the surface of her work. Lovelessí latest effort Dreaminí My Dreams makes an attempt to bridge the gap between the contemporary and the old-time facets of her repertoire, and as a result, it highlights some of the best and worst aspects of her recording career. On the one hand, for all their acoustic-shaded textures, songs like Nobody Here by that Name and Jim Lauderdale's Everything but the Words are too precious and pop-oriented for their own good, and in stripping the grit from Steve Earleís My Old Friend the Blues, she grants the song an ambience that is far less desolate and despairing than it rightfully should be. At the other end of the spectrum stand the driving, blues-inflected groove of Delbert McClinton's Same Kind of Crazy and the infectious country-rock of Richard Thompson's Keep Your Distance. The best moments, however, come in the form of a pair of tried-and-true bluegrass excursions (Big Chance and Delaney & Bonnie's Never Ending Song of Love) that are situated towards the conclusion of the disc. Itís here that Loveless appears most invested in her new material, and had she brought the same level of enthusiasm and intimacy to the rest of the tunes on Dreaminí My Dreams, the outing might have been a more consistently riveting affair.
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2005 The Music Box