The sixth full-length outing from the globe-trotting British singer/songwriter, I Dreamed an Island finds Piers Faccini delivering an evocative set of unifying socially and politically charged folk songs. With roots in both France and Italy, Faccini has always filtered his U.K. folk emissions through a cosmopolitan lens, but he goes one further on the transportive I Dreamed an Island. Performed in English, Arabic, French, and Italian, the aptly named ten-track set uses the utopian Western, Arabic, and Byzantine influences of 12th century Sicily as a musical and cultural framing device for a collection of songs that takes on everything from terrorism ("Oiseau") to tolerance ("The Many Were More") to Trump ("Bring Down the Wall"). The myriad Mediterranean and North African motifs are paired effortlessly with Faccini's understated vocals and indie folk leanings -- the slow burn opener, "To Be Sky," and the sunny "Anima" in particular, straddle this multi-cultural line with great aplomb. There's a definite worldbeat vibe at play here, but the results feel as immediate and homespun as they do exotic, and the themes of empathy and pluralism, both of which are prevalent throughout, feel both impassioned and timely.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger