Beautiful Dreams holds interest mainly because Chris de Burgh is backed by a full orchestra, which adds brilliant depth to his material, presenting his romantically based ballads in an entirely new fashion. While the strings and woodwinds that accompany de Burgh showcase their splendor on "Say Goodbye to It All" and "Snows of New York" better than any other of the album's 13 tracks, there is still a certain posh grandeur that is carried on all of them, which is bolstered by the band's luxurious sound. "Missing You" and "In Love Forever" gain illustriousness through the lavish backdrop of violins, which ease in to de Burgh's graceful lyrics, and the familiar "Lady in Red" sounds full-bodied and even more enchanting with a thicker curtain of instruments behind it. Although the orchestra is a novel addition to de Burgh's music, the album's track selection is a tad thin and could have benefited from classics such as "Spanish Train" and "Lonely Sky," or any of his more popular songs that can easily accommodate an expansive array of horns and strings. de Burgh's renditions of the Beatles' "Girl" and Roy Orbison's "In Dreams" prove that he should refrain from covering other artist's material, and is clearly Beautiful Dreams' most noticeable setback. Aside from some minor flaws, the live atmosphere of the album coupled with the allure of an orchestra offers de Burgh's passionate character within a novel environment, a refreshing change from his usual repertoire.
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AllMusic Review by Mike DeGagne