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Christian Music - Reviews, News, Interviews

Dream Again

  • reviewed by Christa Banister Copyright Christianity Today International
  • 2007 1 Jan
Dream Again
Sounds like … an earthy, laid-back collection that's reminiscent of Paul McCartney, Tom Petty, even Bob Dylan on occasion. At a glance … after several instrumental CDs that showed off his guitar prowess, Dream Again lacks the sophistication of earlier works.Track Listing Dream Again
Thank You for Today
Revive Me
There with You
Traveling Light
Micah 6:8
Kathy's Song
It's You and Me
How Can I Thank You
Love Is the Reason

After several instrumental outings, Phil Keaggy is back with his first vocal album in six years, Dream Again, a collection of mostly mellow pop love songs. To say the effort is a family affair would be an understatement. His son Ian lends his voice for the spoken word portion of the socially conscious "Why," while daughter Alicia harmonizes beautifully on "Micah 6:8." Later, the whimsical and affirming "There with You" serves as a tribute to his 21-year-old daughter Olivia, while the tender Beatlesque love song "It's You and Me" is dedicated to Keaggy's wife Bernadette.

But despite enjoyable diversions, like the gritty, Bob Dylan-esque track "Redemption" and the atmospheric title track, the album still reminds me of Steven Curtis Chapman's 2002 album All About Love. While it's sweet that he's writing about his family, the pervading sappiness makes it one of the weakest entries in Keaggy's otherwise impressive catalog.

It's because Keaggy's past work sets the bar so high that this one's a disappointment. When you know that someone can play the guitar as well as this guy, you can't help but wonder why there aren't any of his trademark solos. Additionally, the lyrics suffer from the occasional bout of triteness, particularly the aforementioned "Why," which asks: "Why does the media glorify/All the bad news, turn a blind eye/To the good unselfish things people do/You're asking me, I'm asking you."

When Keaggy chooses to be introspective, there are brighter moments, particularly on the prayerful "Revive Me," where he sings, "These days, as I'm getting on in years now/Have their challenges and fears now/Though I doubt myself, I still believe in You." Dream Again isn't the brilliant return expected after six long years, but hopefully that won't keep him from releasing a better pop album sooner than later.

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