Direct dealing with emotions is the thread running through Holly Figueroa's September 2001 release, Dream in Red. "Emily" is the story of the artist coming out to her sister ("I've got a girlfriend/Yeah, that kinda girlfriend"). Because of the rhythm, some listeners may have a challenging time catching all the lyrics; however, Figueroa includes them on her website (/www.hollyfigueroa.com/lyrics.html), and they're well worth checking out. Everybody who's going to come out deserves to have someone in their family tell them they still love them. (Though, granted, not everybody gets that.) Figueroa clearly values the experience, because, for all the wry moments of humor, the core of this song is each sister's acceptance of the other, as is ("She said I still love you/If that's what yer worried about"). It's a very real song, very human. Those familiar with Washington State's reputation for overcast weather will probably relate to this line in "Hades": "You got a hundred and four cloudy days/And they all fall on the weekends." Yeah, that could make a guy take off for Florida, like in the narrative. It's not the weather by itself, though, it's how the weather makes you feel ("Something happens when the snow flies/The kind part of him dies"). "We Do" is about the very end of a relationship ("You're not bad/And I'm not bad/But we're so bad together/There's got to be a place where we're right apart"). Many people who have been through a breakup will understand this one from the inside, and sympathize with the impact. Figueroa sings about the losses in life, sometimes of life itself, as on the title song, "Dream in Red," which surely takes on a new poignancy after September 11, 2001. Yet there's also celebration of the immediacy of life and a night together in "Here." So for all the change points in her life, Figueroa creates a song, and listeners will find themselves moved by the emotional honesty. Definitely recommended for those who appreciate independent women artists.
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AllMusic Review by Murrday Fisher