The recent release In Dreams from Clash Bowley is about dreams. What kind of dreams do you ask? I’m not sure if it’s about dreams you might have about your life, like owning your own business or the type of dreams you have when you close your eyes at night. On his Bandcamp page he really doesn't give any specific answers and leaves it quite vague. He says, “These are songs about dreams. They go all over the place musically, but I have never cared about that.”
Truth be told I do care about that aspect. An album that’s very scattered in terms of style doesn't possess the cohesive qualities I appreciate. I prefer listening to an album from beginning to end and having aspects that connect adds to the experience for myself. To my ears Bowley isn’t all over the place. There are the common aesthetics that I’ve heard from him before. Suffice it to say this felt like classic Bowley to my ears.
There are twelve songs and I do want to highlight some of my top picks. The opener “Rain Dance” was one of my favorites. This song was a little more stripped back and the vocals really felt like the focal center. I also really enjoyed the way he sings on this song. It really felt natural and inviting. The vocal melodies were infectious and overall it was a really solid song.
The vocals are noticeably different on songs like “Jump & Shout” and “Too Close.” I enjoyed the songs but you can clearly hear his affectation coming and going. There are some lines where he has a bit of a snarl and sounds a little like Tom Waits. Other lines have more of a David Bowie like quality. This kind of emotional variance was all coming from his delivery and inflection. Impressive.
Towards the middle of the album I was really just getting a classic Bowley type vibe I heard on his previous album. Take for example “Conjured Star” and “Hard To Hold” which have synths and electronic percussion that is juxtaposed against the lead guitar. That’s not to say these songs aren't unique but the Bowley sound is inherent within the songs. One of my favorites was the closer “Drive-By Love Hammer'' which contains some cool counting vocal harmonies.
Overall, this is another Bowley record in the win column. It’s a nice addition to his already impressive discography.
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