Sarah Masen - The Dreamlife Of Angels

Sunday 1st July 2001
Sarah Masen - The Dreamlife Of Angels
Sarah Masen - The Dreamlife Of Angels

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
LABEL: Word 080688608521
RRP: £4.99

Reviewed by Tony Cummings

With a wistfully delicate style boldly straddling the differing genres of the introspective acoustic/roots thought-provoker and the catchy purveyor of radio friendly pop hooks, Sarah has always been a class act. Today, thanks to her willingness to bite the bullet and play Britain (the Alliance Festival, Greenbelt, etc) it means that Sarah can tour Britain (in June) while many a bigger selling Nashville name remains unknown in the tiny UK marketplace. So it's heartening to report that Sarah's fourth album should be by far and away her best, a light as a feather celebration of personal insight and musical intelligence. It was" Shakespear's The Tempest that proposed that maybe we mortals are the stuff of which angel's dreams are made and, with that in mind, this most enigmatic of songwriters seeks to find elements of our everyday lives where, in the fleeting blink of an eye, the prosaic and the transcendent meet. The album also showcases a more mature, more realistic songwriter where Sarah's experiences of marriage and motherhood have instilled in her a sense of community. For instance, on "We Are A Beginning", a song Sarah wrote for her 1998 wedding is a love letter of hope to the hurting while "Girl On Fire" is a compassionate plea to a friend to get her to make better life decisions. There are some musical surprises here, no more than a cover of "Give A Little Bit" (yep, the Supertramp oldie) while the Auden-inspired "Midnight" takes us back to the darker hues of Sarah's earlier albums. My favourite moment is the breathtaking harmonies, interlocked behind Sarah's beautiful, ethereal lead on "Home" and the artfully catchy "Hit And Run" with its tambourine-driven groove; and the infectious opener "We Are A Beginning" already a turntable hit on UCB Europe. If Sarah's spine tingling voice and songwriting craft weren't enough for Joe Punter, the production by John Jennings (Mary Chapin Carpenter) is impeccable. CCM Magazine unexpectedly complained that "some may be surprised to find the music sounds at times almost passive", and certainly 'The Dreamlife Of Angels' doesn't contain an obvious "All Fall Down" style radio blockbuster. But then again, "So what?"

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Sample Track Listing:
1. We Are A Beginning [Listen]
2. Girl On Fire [Listen]
3. The Valley [Listen]
4. Love Is Breathing [Listen]
5. Give A Little Bit [Listen]
6. Midnight [Listen]
7. Hit And Run [Listen]
8. She Stumbles Through The Door [Listen]
9. Hope [Listen]
10. Home [Listen]

This track data is supplied by the Cross Rhythms CD/DVD review library. Please note that CD tracks may vary according to release region or product version.

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