Saturday, June 5, 2010

Dreamin' Man Live '92

The latest release in the Archive Series, Dreamin' Man is a collection of solo performances of all the Harvest Moon songs. Previously, I have noted how many of Neil's weaker song are vastly improved when performed solo. Turns out, sometimes the opposite is true. Maybe it's just that these performances aren't up to snuff, but this album is surprisingly bland.

I mean, the songs are still good songs, don't get me wrong, but these performances are repetitive and dull. A few songs stand out, like the title track and "Such a Woman," as worthwhile, possibly even improvements over the album versions. But everything else makes you wonder why you aren't listening to the real album instead. Part of the problem may be the format... it's all the songs from Harvest Moon, but in a different order. It makes the album feel redundant; why not a mix of the material he was performing on this tour?

But I think the main problem is that songs like "Harvest Moon" are dependent on their lush production for their atmosphere and effect. Played solo, they sound a little empty. It doesn't help that the recording quality doesn't seem so great; the album feels almost like hastily recorded demo songs for Harvest Moon.

Rating: C. It might play better if you isolate single tracks, rather than sitting through the whole thing.

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