Dream Wife - Dream Wife - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

Dream Wife - Dream Wife

by Steve Ricciutti Rating:6 Release Date:2018-01-26
Dream Wife - Dream Wife
Dream Wife - Dream Wife

Dream Wife, the one time art project that found there was a larger-than-expected audience for their music, has their eponymous first full LP coming out. Packing plenty of three-chord power pop, tantalizing hooks, catchy choruses, and squeaky-cute vocals, the album is a mid-winter dose of summer frivolity.

Comprised of two Brits on guitar and bass (Alice Go and Bela Podpadec) and Rakel Mjöll from Iceland on vocals, Dream Wife offer up eleven tracks, a few of which have been previously released as singles or on their EP. Whether an ironic art joke or not, Dream Wife can be as addictive as the candy coated voice of Mjöll. That said, they’re also a bit like most sugary treats, delicious enough to splurge on, but somewhat empty in the end.

With eleven songs clocking in around three minutes a pop, the band doesn’t waste time with self-indulgence or musical meandering, which I firmly stand behind. Thus, just like the sugar junkie trying to convince you that a handful of Gummi Worms constitute a daily dosage of fruit, I can still argue for the value herein.

The first four songs make up a barrage of garage pop confection. “Let’s Make Out,” with honeyed girl-group harmonies and a screaming chorus hits first, and the politically charged “Somebody,” (“I am not my body, I’m somebody”) is a haymaker from the blind side. “Fire” has some riff-happy guitar work, and “Hey Heartbreaker” has the makings of a single. Finale “F.U.U.” stands for “fuck you up,” something Mjöll rolls off her tongue over and over, “First I’m gonna fuck you up, and then I’m gonna cut you up…” Alrightee then. Pump your fist anthem or eye-rolling silliness? I can’t make up my mind.

In between, there’s a lot more of the same, but as you might expect, there’s little depth here. Then again, you could say the same about a lot of bands that have had nice, long, respectable careers. Still, screeching repetitive choruses happen frequently, and the sexy squeal loses some impact after awhile, which leaves me on the fence about Dream Wife. There are some memorable songs and some that are forgettable. Depending upon the listener, they might be interchangeable.

Final verdict: Dream Wife mixes the best of their many influences and churns out potential earworms with a skill that belies their rather short career in the music business. Conversely, their music is fairly one-dimensional and lacks any vision or sense of larger aspirations that would involve pushing their boundaries for something more than borderline cartoonish garage-pop. That’s not to say that they have to, it’s only a head’s up about what to expect. 

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