• Darby VanDeVeen

Glass Animals Pivots Sound on ‘Dreamland’ With Some Success

"Dreamy, otherworldly production allows the album to live up to its name and transport listeners to their own personal ‘dreamland.’"

Psychedelic pop band Glass Animals has shifted their writing style from biographical to autobiographical. Keeping the hallucinogenic sounds they’re known for but making each story more personal than ever before, the Oxford quartet is ready to give fans an exclusive glimpse into their lives on their third-studio album, Dreamland. Receiving positive/mixed reviews from critics and seeing some other music review pages featuring it inspired me to check it out and see the hype.

Dreamy, otherworldly production allows the album to live up to its name and transport listeners to their own personal ‘dreamland.’ The main concept of the album has to be nostalgia and while frontman Dave Bayley sometimes hits the mark, I thought that Pitchfork described it best when they said that “Glass Animals want to talk about The Way We Live, when it’s really just Let’s Remember Some Stuff.” However, the idea of nostalgia has been a huge theme as of late and Glass Animals is by no means the first band to want listeners to remember how things used to be.

Songs like “Tangerine” are punchy and whimsical while also relying heavily on nostalgia for a story (“I miss ramen noodles and laughing at you/ And your gran in home movies”). It’s catchy and captures the sound that Glass Animals want to capture in this album. Four of the tracks use nostalgia and fail and those are the ‘interludes’ titled ‘home movies.’ This feels like a cheap ploy while they add no value or substance to the album as a whole. Despite this, some songs are mature and tackle the idea of life now. “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” is one of those songs that talks about the loss of innocence. Bayley told Apple Music that this song was told vaguely about a friend who ended up attempting a school shooting years after the two friends lost touch.

Another highlight is “Tokyo Drifting,” which features Denzel Curry. Seeing this collaboration on the album piqued my interest because after listening to half of it, I couldn’t really see how the two artists’ sounds would fit together. However, Glass Animals shifted their sound and the two artists really complimented each other. At 16 songs (with four being interludes), the album was the perfect length and ended before the songs could start to blend together fully. I know this album has definitely led me to keep an eye on the quartet and seek out more of their music. A great, atmospheric listen that can be enjoyed on the go or during an in-depth listen.


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