The follow-up to 2015's well-received Pass Through Here, This Dream of Life sees treasured and unabashedly idiosyncratic folk singer/songwriter Kath Bloom once again calling on the talents of a diverse group of collaborators -- AVI Buffalo, Imaad Wasif, Mark Kozelek -- to help flesh out her powerful, spare, yet always distinctive tales of love and loss. Released via Kozelek's Caldo Verde label, This Dream of Life may be rooted in the present, but Bloom's weathered voice, ghostly guitar work, and the earthy, ramshackle production lend an air of the supernatural to the proceedings that more or less renders any kind of time line redundant. This is folk music in its rawest form, and songs like the woeful country-folk lament "Reminds Me of It" and the scorching, punk-addled title cut ("This dream of life is tearing us apart/this dream of life is not for the faint of heart"), both of which evoke Patti Smith far more than they do the oft-cited Vashti Bunyan, are as emotionally direct as they are sonically space-bound.
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AllMusic Review by James Christopher Monger