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When Dreams Become Reality

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Album Review

Like Lenny Kravitz, San Diego's Thieves & Liars are a compendium of classic rock. No band in the '60s or '70s would have juxtaposed this many styles. But this trio ties them together with an ambitious concept album about Joseph, the Old Testament character. Pink Floyd-esque psychedelia starts the record, dropping into luminous pop. Immediately the warmth and naturalness of the recording stand out; the band employed old-school recording techniques, including mostly live tracking. The meat of the record is bluesy rockers in various flavors — Monster Magnet-style stoner rock in "Betrayed by Blood," Grand Funk Railroad-esque cowbell swagger in "Road to Nowhere," and tasty ZZ Top licks in "Good Times." "Reconciled" is funky and minimalist, while "Seven Long Years" recalls the slow burn of Led Zeppelin's "Since I've Been Loving You." "Thieves & Liars" excel at stretching basic riffs into long, expansive explorations; most songs go a few minutes longer than expected, yet such diversions often lead to stellar heights. The centerpiece of the record, "Forgotten," mushrooms from acoustic balladry into gorgeously baroque prog rock. It has strings, studio trickery, and guitar tones of all kinds; its nine minutes feel like a lifetime, in the best possible way. For a debut, the songcraft is amazingly subtle yet assured. Technicolor artwork by Dave Quiggle accompanies each song, making this a feast for eyes, ears, and likely, also the soul.

When Dreams Become Reality, Thieves & Liars
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  • 8,99 €
  • Genres: Rock, Music
  • Released: 22 January 2008

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