David LaFlamme

Beyond Dreams

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One has to hand it to David LaFlamme and his band: they're one of the few current outfits seemingly capable of revisiting their leader's work of four decades earlier and improving upon it. The version of the It's a Beautiful Day classic "White Bird" that opens this CD -- whose dates of origin and recording are mysteriously absent -- is so charming and disarming that it could have been a single in the 21st century without much trouble. The rest is pretty much a match for that make-or-break cut, with some of the newer material such as "Lost in Paradise" and "Who's Gonna Love Me" (which does lift a line out of a Paul Simon song rather shamelessly) slotting in perfectly with the older sides. The whole album is a kind of amazing document of prodigious talent undimmed by time. The sound is excellent, incidentally, and if there is a flaw, it's the lack of annotation of any kind. But that's no problem -- most listeners will be so busy listening to the music that they'll never notice.

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