This review is written by Dai Woosnam, firstname.lastname@example.org, 4/02
This job I do is not a bundle of fun. Oh, I can see some of you reading that opening sentence and saying “I would LOVE to be reviewing CDs: how can I get started?”
Oh, would that this was the ONLY problem one had: this “getting started”.
As a reviewer, you have a duty to the potential purchaser: you must “call it” as you see it. And a duty to yourself as the reviewer: you have to be able to look at your face in the mirror.
But above all, one is mindful of the fact that the performer has invested time, effort, and (sometimes) money in the making of the album, and one must resist the temptation to make cheap shots at his expense. One so WANTS to be bowled over by the CD that comes through the post: especially those that seem to come from Left Field, as this one does.
And, as if to remind me of my responsibilities, this album has the thought-provoking title of “Dream Maker”. It is incumbent upon me NOT to seek to be a dream BREAKER. So let me look for the positives.
Well there is Ferguson’s voice. It is rather good. It has a decent range and his diction is excellent. So good in fact, that he makes the “lyric sheet insert booklet” superfluous.
Regarding this by the way, there are some tiny little spelling errors (songs 11,13 and 14 spring to mind); and remarking on this, makes me think that I really would have preferred him to have used the booklet to write some background notes on the songs.
Another plus is the general “sound”. He makes heavy use of synthesisers, and rings the changes with his variety of guitars (both electric and acoustic). But it does not have an “artificial” feel to it. In fact, there are occasions when in rock-guitarist mode, he is totally convincing.
But for the album to really work, the 14 self-penned songs need to deliver the goods. And this is the point in the review where I take sanctuary in a famous response of the great maestro, Igor Stravinsky.
He was once asked what he thought of a particular piece, and he replied “Perhaps I have my ears on wrong”. (Which is not Stravinsky ducking the issue: but rather, him admitting that maybe the music was designed for other ears than his.)
And I have no doubt that these songs will “speak” to many buyers of the CD. Their subject matter impressively runs the gamut. But for me, the lyrics did not resonate nor the melodies even THREATEN to lodge in my brain, let alone my heart.
But let’s hope that my lack of “rapture” is indicative of a problem with me, rather than with this CD. Certainly, from his photo on the sleeve, he seems a nice fellow.
I wish both him and his CD the fairest of winds.
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