Dreamgirl - Dreamgirl
Dreamgirl are a Kansas City based dream-pop outfit and this album is their self titled debut. It opens with "Forever Between Us (Pt. I)" a guitar driven track full of reverb and singer Lacey's sweet distant vocals. The first thing you get is: this band sounds almost exactly like Transviolet, but not quite as slick. The production feels very DIY, lots of echoes and not a great deal of polish. The male and female vocals sometimes compete, sometimes don't creating this sort of limbo on what may come next. Lacey's voice in particular is really really high and can reach an almost grating level at times. As I write this I'm realizing that is a lot of criticism to offer up at the onset of the review,. but the reason I'm digging in hard is there is real promise here. The dreamy guitars do swirl and create a totally enticing environment. The pacing is great, the lyrics are splendid but something feels just slightly off and it's the production. The production of this album really let this band down because the bones of these tracks are quite good if only they sounded better in your ears. Instead of wrapping you up in their warm tones you are kept at arms length by echo and reverb. The songs never allow you to get in and sway, you are forced to view them from a distance because that's how the damn thing was recorded. "Just Friends" has some cool synth work but because there is almost zero low-end it ends up sounding screechy and off putting.
For a lot of the album it just feels like they are trying to lock into their sound, stumbling around hoping that something works. The reverb on the guitar is almost exactly the same throughout, which would be fine if the songs didn't often sound the same. They have a pretty good idea of what the music could and should be but translating that onto the album feels like a real problem. On "Pynch" there are these fantastic electronic sounds miles in the background just begging to be brought forward, but they are just resigned to their second fiddle roles. Dreamgirl just feels like miss after miss, getting really close to capturing something special but never really accomplishing the goal. There seems to be something here, this band does have a chance but first they should fire their producer and get this thing properly mixed. Until then I just can't see this working.
4.0 out of 10