Album Review – Dreaming in Stereo 2, by Dreaming in Stereo
This review is way, way, way overdue. Back in March, Dreaming in Stereo invited me to cover their show at SXSW. I missed the show, unfortunately, but they were kind enough to send me their new album, Dreaming in Stereo 2, to review. Lo these many months later, I can say that, having listened to the album, if I ever get another chance to see this band live, I will go without hesitation. I certainly regret missing that show in Austin.
The album is gorgeous from start to finish. Truly a delight. The progressive pop music is cinematic, deliciously layered vocals floating over dreamy string arrangements. The songs have an unhurried quality, capturing what one might imagine a sunny Saturday in the band’s hometown of Miami Beach, Florida, would feel like. It’s tempting to escape into the rich sonic landscape of the record, to indulge in a mini-vacation with every listen.
The man at the helm is Fernando Perdomo, an accomplished musician whose credits include playing lead guitar on a platinum-selling album (Amar Es) and international tour for Grammy-nominated Mexican pop singer Christian Castro. Perdomo writes and sings most of the songs on Dreaming in Stereo 2, with the exceptions of “Saturday Song” and “Without You”, by Marisol Garcia. Garcia’s vocals are stunning; her range extends from quiet intimations to soaring climactic power.
One thing the band seems to collectively understand is the significance of the musical dramatic arc. “Enough’s Enough” is but one example in which a pop melody swells into full orchestral glory and then returns to the original theme. This prog tactic owes much to Pink Floyd, who seem consciously referenced in songs like “Open the Door 2”, with its Syd Barrett-psychedelic lyrics and Dark Side of the Moon acid guitar solo with female vocals underneath. The Beatles also seem to be an influence, as in the vocal harmonies of “Part of Your Life”. Like the Beatles, Dreaming in Stereo writes songs that have an undercurrent of longing, a delicate sadness made beautiful by music. In effect, the experience of the album as a whole is a sort of journey, both inward into secret emotions and outward in an exploration of just how picturesque sound can be.