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With The Dreamer, MacCarthy has gone for an all-out production effort — the heavily orchestrated arrangements dominating the overall mood of the album. While this approach creates a cinematic feel and adds continuity to the twelve songs, it occasionally pushes his soft, intimate voice into the background. Ultimately though, it’s the deeply emotive melodic structures of his songs and the soaring dynamics of the instrumental backing that makes this album appealing.
Opening on a familiar note with ‘Adam At The Window’ (recorded previously by Mary Black), MacCarthy’s understated singing moves gently and effortlessly through the songs, rarely rising above a whisper. The recent single ‘Lorraine’, with a lighter more folky arrangement, is hardly representative of the predom‘nant sound on The Dreamer. But it’s numbers like ‘The Highest Point’ and ‘The Perfect Present’, two gorgeously inspired pieces, the latter in the style of Van Morrison’s ‘Have I Told You Lately’ that demonstrate MacCarthy’s instinctive gift for melody.
‘No Frontiers’, another hit for Mary Black – and probably his best known song after ‘Ride On’ – benefits from the orchestral treatment and slight change in rhythm while ‘Harlem’ has a soft country feel. The album closes with ‘Adam Reprise’. Lyrically, throughout The Dreamer MacCarthy explores mystical, spiritual and religious themes, adding to the overall poetic flavour.
With backing vocals supplied by Anúna, Charlie McGettigan and Mandy Murphy and string arrangements by Fiachra Trench, The Dreamer is an ambitious work which is certain to widen MacCarthy’s standing and appeal as a gifted performer as well as a succesful songwriter. (Quelle: https://www.hotpress.com/music/the-dreamer-489080)