Dream Street Rose is an underrated album from the downside of Gordon Lightfoot's career, when his chart performance was sagging and his new albums began to appear after longer intervals. The excellent title track made a weak showing on the adult contemporary charts, and the album itself was his first collection of new songs to miss the Top 40 since the early '70s (although it outperformed everything that followed it). MIA on compact disc until 2002, Dream Street Rose is well worth hearing for loyal fans, particularly those who enjoyed his previous albums, Endless Wire and Summertime Dream. The three albums aren't very different with their occasional seafaring songs and characteristic folk-rock sound, but Dream Street Rose never rocks as hard as its predecessors sometimes did (Summertime Dream's "One Man Band," for instance). The old Leroy Van Dyke hit "The Auctioneer" is a fun closer on an otherwise somber outing, but the demanding lyric inadvertently spotlights Lightfoot's mumbled vocal delivery -- a problem that increasingly plagued his later albums. Despite Lightfoot's declining vocal abilities and uneven material, Dream Street Rose has several highlights that fans won't want to miss.
Dream Street Rose Review
by Greg Adams