CD REVIEW: Aoede - What are Dreams Made of
by: Cyrus Rhodes
Label: Aoede Music
Genre: Children’s Pop Musical
Technical Grade: 9/10
Weakness: More music-narration balance, Complicated Storyline
What are Dreams Made of by Aoede s a children’s Pop Musical, and a fairy tale feel that centers on a little girl with big dreams. Aoede the Muse has a bad dream, children go missing, and Aoede has to explore both overland and underworld where she meets magical characters including fairies, goblins and dream gods, to figure out what it means...
The CD kicks gets off the ground nicely with “What are Dreams Made of” a smooth flowing intro piece that serves up inviting Celtic flair against effective vocals and inviting melody. Track 2 “Luk is Here to Stay” keeps thing moving in the right direction with sonic vocal narration with steady flowing rhythm, well placed sonic accents painted against a hooky Piano chops making for an impressive follow-up piece. Track 3 “Aoede’s Dream” is another impressive groove that dishes out rock steady rhythm, impressive and thought provoking story that flows and ebbs its way through to motional fruition. The CD makes a great first impression dashing out 3 amazing songs in a row. The musicianship of everyone involved is above the bar.I would classify this music as classic Children’s Pop, with brief touches of Celtic and Fantasy style overtones. There's even a Contemporary Pop. Along the way you will notice lush instrumentation with things like impressive horn sections, impressive guitar, well placed percussion accents, impressive ukulele, banjo, accordion,, kazoo, glockenspiel, well placed Keyboard, and lush harmonies layered everywhere built upon a thick as a brick rhythm section. Aode’s narration and vocal abilities (Lisa Sniderman) are very effective. She has a world class vocal ability. All narrations are effective and professional grade. What I like the most about this catalogue is how well all the pieces seem to groove together, testament to hundreds of hours of writing and behind the scenes production work no doubt. Now turning our attention over to all the performers - as for their individual contribution – all amazing! All performances go down smooth and fills the space peacefully and unobtrusively. All songs are extremely well crafted and consistent across the board. The Narration and vocal tidbits are effective and contribute to the storyline effectively. What are Dreams Made of” 23 solid tracks all providing musical enjoyment filled with strong messages and strong melodic variety and diversity. From uplifting “Department of Dreams” to foreboding “The Dream Whisperer”, to rocking “The Bad Seeds” to Hypnotic “Phobetor/Chocolate Nectar” this CD has something for just about everyone.
It needs to be said that these are not all songs. Half of the material is really narration with musical tidbits playing in the background. I would say 50% of the CD is narration the rest songs. This approach works however I wish that number was more at a minimum 75/25 vice 50/50. The story line though positive and well thought out lacks simplicity and may be challenging for some kids to follow and understand effectively.
From start to finish What are Dreams made of by Aoede is an amazing collection of stories and music. The songwriting and overall storyboard messages– world class, all consistent musical experiences, each one possessing a unique personality, flair, and signature groove. Note for note, song for song there isn’t really weak piece on this entire catalog with respect to the overall messages. The writing and playing abilities and sampling of all the behind the scenes players is rock solid. The melodies and harmonies are well crafted, and the narration is effective and on point. At the end of the What are Dreams made of by Aoede is sure to be a hit and inspire kids to make their dreams come true.