The Asteroid No. 4

An Amazing Dream

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The Sweetheart of the Rodeo affectations that sank the Asteroid No. 4's last album, 2003's underwhelming alt country experiment Honeyspot, are happily dispensed with on the far superior An Amazing Dream. In fact, this album is a return of sorts to the tremolo-driven, echoing space rock of the Philadelphia band's debut, Introducing the Asteroid No. 4, leavened with a few of the freakbeat hooks of its follow-up, the Carnaby Street-obsessed King Richard's Collectibles. In fact, with its mixture of lulling psychedelia, complex and jangly guitar parts and low-key tunefulness, much of An Amazing Dream sounds startlingly like the mid-'80s work of Australian college rockers the Church, a connection the band makes explicit with a faithful cover of the Steve Kilbey-penned "To Be in Your Eyes" (from The Blurred Crusade). It fits in beautifully alongside similarly dreamy efforts like the vaguely threatening "Hey Joe" rewrite "Into the Meadow" and the gently galloping "Ask Me About Pittsburgh." While not as immediate as the power-poppy gloss of King Richard's Collectibles, An Amazing Dream is the Asteroid No. 4's most mature and focused album yet.

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