Dream World – Ámaris Wen (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

As tough as break-ups are, as lost and untethered as they make us feel, as emotionally confusing as they might be, even in such turmoil you can find the positive. And if you are as smart as Ámaris Wen  then you can turn that positivity into an album of songs. Without getting too preachy or offering the usual worn-out sentiments, she reminds us that such fresh starts, such moments of renewal are actually a blank canvas onto which you can start to paint the “new you.” The message of Dream World is not the usual cliched, “there are plenty more fish in the sea,” but rather “you can be the sea…or anything else that you chose to imagine for yourself.”

It is an album of songs which acts both as a form of sonic escapism to perhaps take your mind off of the current situation but also a musical life-coaching lesson, one which reminds you of your own fantastic potential, of dreaming big, of reaching for the stars. After all, thinking big is a great thing to do. You might not manage to grasp one of those twinkling celestial objects you are aiming for but in failing you still might manage to embrace the moon.

The album is a wonderful blend of soul and R&B structures, draped in dream-pop textures and far-flung futuristic electronica. Songs such as Too Sad and Love You Again are driven by gently euphoric dance floor grooves and energetic beats and at the other extreme Without You is a sultry, hazy act of restraint, seeming to be drifting through the cosmos rather than settling for playing out in more mundane realities.

The middle ground of such approaches is found in Perceptions, a song built of gorgeous vocals and spacious beats, both of which are made more effective because the centre ground is filled only with gossamer atmospherics and, transitory and intangible musical threads.

The message of this gorgeous album is simple. I’m hurting but I’m going to be okay. In fact, I’m going to be better than okay. So whether you are in a difficult place and need a shoulder to cry on, a friend to talk too or you are just a fan of dream state pop, then immerse yourself in this music and let it work its magic. You never know who you might have become by the time you emerge from the other side of its sonic embrace.

Ámaris Wen · Dream World

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