Phil Keaggy - Dream Again

Published Wednesday 14th January 2009
Phil Keaggy - Dream Again
Phil Keaggy - Dream Again

RATING 6 6 6 6 6 6
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 69104-15002
LABEL: Strobie ST008

Reviewed by Ewan Jones

Oh, I really wanted to like this, but for the most part I couldn't wait to get to the end. On the positive side, Keaggy's playing, as always, is superb, if a little restrained on this release, and his lyric writing is mature, intelligent and wise. There are touches of genius peppered throughout these 12 songs but each one is promptly squashed by a cliché or a production effect too far. I didn't sense a lot of Keaggy's trademark originality or inspiration on this CD. In fact, some of it is downright insipid. It's no secret that Keaggy's singing voice isn't particularly strong and on this set of songs he veers between an earnest Paul McCartney ("Thank You For Today") and a Bob Dylan impersonator. Many of the songs have a deeply personal element to them (a song for each of Keaggy's sisters, one for his daughter, one for his wife) which is sweet but not a particularly involving experience; the audio equivalent of someone emptying their wallet to show you photos of their family. Standout tracks are upbeat "Revive Me" and the exquisite instrumental "Travelling Light" which truly showcases Keaggy's talents. I appreciated the sentiment of "Redemption" ("Do I want to be right or be redeemed?/Will I be brilliant at the cost of being obscene") despite it not being a memorable song. Die hard Keaggy fans will no doubt snap this up. But for me these songs could do with a bit more edge.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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