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Album Review
Dreams Come True

Dreams Come True

Terrible Records/Warp

Review Date
16th November 2011
Reviewed by
Luke Merson

The announcement that Grizzly Bear’s Chris Taylor would be releasing his first solo album on his label, Terrible Records, generated a whole lot of buzz in music circles. Would he send out a sparse, bedroom-produced, Yellow House kind of effort? Or would Veckatimest’s polish rub off on Dreams Come True? Teaming up with George Lewis Jr. of Twin Shadow fame, Taylor has managed to give Cant a sound removed from any of his Grizzly Bear work. The outcome is a stunningly produced, but not altogether coherent, art pop record; full of glitchy drum beats and funky baselines.

Taylor has kept busy since his band’s 2009 list topping album Veckatimest by forming the Terrible Records label and producing a few quality albums, such as Twin Shadow’s debut Forget. Dreams Come True can be seen as a Taylor flexing his production muscles; because if the album is anything, it’s superbly produced, layers of dense, complicated sound mesh together flawlessly under Taylor’s direction. Hopefully the album’s high production quality is a sign of things to come for the Terrible Records label.

A sauntering drum machine and bouncy synth welcome the listener on the album opening ‘too late too far’. Taylor’s familiar Grizzly Bear vocals slide in and quickly adopt their common ‘eerie chant’ tone in the chorus. The digital, tribal feel of song is reminiscent of Yeasayer’s All Hour Cymbals, and the melody sets the tone nicely for the rest of the album.

Lewis Jr’s input into Cant can be seen most prominently on the song ‘Believe’. Forget’s trademark synth, sexy base and guitar work all surface on this track, and work quite well with Taylor’s choral vocal tone. The only drawback of Taylor’s vocal work is that his floating harmonies do at times seem detached from the crafted melodies they accompany, resulting in the album needing multiple listens to be appreciated.

Bang is one of the more grizzly tracks on the album. A recognizably Grizzly Bear guitar sifts along next to Taylor’s beautiful vocals. Clunky, distorted synth ambles in near the song’s end, stamping Cant’s unique sound on a typically Grizzly Bear sounding song. Where Cant succeeds most is when Taylor manages to convey some real emotion through his lyrics, in songs like ‘She found a way out’ and ‘Answer’, with Taylor lamenting a past rejection with, “it’s been a while, since you needed me.”

Although at times Cant’s sound is cold, and almost clinical in its delivery, Dreams Come True is an album that most Grizzly Bear fans will enjoy. Lewis Jr and Taylor have further developed the laid back, slow-funk sound of Terrible Records to great effect. Dreams Come True won’t be anyone’s favourite album of 2011, but it definitely should be one that accompanies many lazy, kiwi summer afternoons.


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