Various Artists

A Wish On A Star: A Dreamy Records Compilation

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Compilation records are a tricky business. Generally such albums try to combine artists of varying styles and stages of success in order to expose each to a new audience. More often than not, the result is a mediocre collection of songs that aren't terribly strong on their own and aren't strengthened by songs around them. Fortunately, quite the opposite is true with the Dreamy records compilation A Wish on a Star. At first listen, the songs don't seem to have a lot in common, as some of them are darkly delicate acoustic numbers (Rivulets' "Swans," for one), while others are tap-dance inspiring, brain-baking collages of wax cylinder-sounding jazz, and tres modern airy techno (as on (The Real) Tuesday Weld's "The Return of the Clerkenwell Kid"). In another unique turn, Broken Dog's "I'll Think of It Today" is comprised of female vocals so quiet they're almost subliminal, with acoustic guitars and harmonicas that float around like an unwinding music box in Bob Dylan's subconscious. However, a second listen through headphones in a dark room reveals that the songs all effortlessly flow into one another, juxtaposing elements of sound in much the same free-form manner images are woven together in a dream. In fact, Dreamy couldn't be a more fitting label name for music of this type. Highlights come in the form of songs by mellow rockers Summer Hymns, as well as Jamie Owens' subdued retro-pop (along the lines of Earworm records '60s-inspired outfits Green Pajamas and Screen Prints, but with an extra pinch of Serge Gainsbourg). One of the more surreal moments comes courtesy of Santa Sprees, whose "Back in Your Pram" begins as an insane symphony of kazoos, or something, and melts into a warped "Imagine"-esque romp. At 20 songs, the record should serve as a fine introduction into the colorful world of Dreamy records. Snuggle up and drift away.

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