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Artist: Michelle Tumes 
Label: Sparrow Records
Length: 10 tracks/37:13

Aussie pop singer Michelle Tumes releases her third album, Dream, on Sparrow Records.  Keeping with her breathy, mellow style, Tumes also breaks into new musical ground with a sound that leans toward more mainstream pop.  She boldly branches out and provides more upbeat tunes and slick production than evident on her first two outings.

The title cut, "Dream," is a chart-climber that provides a good cross-section preview of the album as a whole.  Lyrically inspiring, musically engaging, and very contemporary, the song lets Tumes' ethereal vocals mingle with a more aggressive mix than she has favored in the past.  Whereas her earlier works might be compared to Enya or Maire Brennan, her newest disc flows in a more pop-flavored vein, possibly along the lines of Jaci Velasquez or Rachael Lampa.  Fans of Twila Paris will also enjoy Michelle Tumes, especially if they are able to catch Tumes on the Twila Paris and Friends Tour featuring Out of the Grey.  The similarity in styles is apparent, and the fit is perfect for the tour.

Tumes is one of those triple-threat artists: a talented vocalist who plays her own instrument and writes her own songs.  Like similar triple-threat artists Twila Paris, Cindy Morgan, Margaret Becker, and Nichole Nordeman, she is skilled in all three areas.  If only the disc were longer, we could enjoy even more of Tumes' music.  All of Tumes' tunes are strong, and her growth as an artist is obvious on this album.  She has stretched beyond her natural shyness and introversion into a solid musical artist.  Dream is a pleasant surprise in that it does not rehash her old style, but contains enough of it to be consistent with her previous work.  Instead of staying close to shore, Tumes takes her artistic boat into deeper waters.

Zik Jackson 10/21/2001
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