The Dream Society continued Roy Harper's winning streak with an impressively produced album of varied material. The opening "Songs of Love" is a striking duet with vocalist Musumi that also features some great acoustic guitar work from son Nick Harper. "Songs of Love, Pt. 2" quickly follows with a hard rock sound as convincing as any Harper has produced since HQ in 1975. While there are many styles on the album -- hard rock, folk-rock, and even country -- perhaps the acoustic ballad "Broken Wing" is the record's best cut. The album-closing epic "These Fifty Years" is one of Harper's most ambitious tracks. With several movements and some very progressive sections, it sounds a bit like Jethro Tull, a notion no doubt aided by a familiar flute sound courtesy of Ian Anderson. Although the song isn't as memorable as "The Same Old Rock" or "Me and My Woman," Harper must be given credit for a mostly successful attempt at a longer piece. As usual, the lyrics throughout are almost purposefully ponderous, a matter not allayed by the rambling liner notes. While Death or Glory? displayed greater highs and Once showed a new musical maturity, The Dream Society is more consistent and completes Harper's utterly successful trilogy of studio albums from the '90s.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Brian Downing