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  In the Wake
Artist: Dream Aria 
Label: MAPL
Length: 13/53:53

In the Wake seems at first glance to be a concept album. Filled with supernatural and ethereal references, songs like “Spirit” and “Opus Dei” draw in the spiritually minded, while “Sungoddess” and “Blue Lady” let you know it will be a pagan, mystical Stevie Nicks type of spirituality.

Ann Burstyn is a versatile vocalist, and her bandmates seamlessly adapt to her ever changing styles.  “Spirit” is belted out, in the Gathering/Evanescence/Lacuna Coil vein, while “Sungoddess” evokes faeries in a forest grove, as if told by Tori Amos or Stevie Nicks.  “Raindrops” is much closer to the first of these musically.

Periodically, Dream Aria exhibits another influence seemingly out of place: “In the Wake – Body” and “11th Hour” makes you wonder if Burstyn studied under Pat Benetar.  

The final product is an album that doesn’t allow its listeners to settle in and enjoy it.  The songs come across as if written with a certain chronology in mind, but the flow would be much better with a shuffled order of songs.  There is some ability here, but to my ears, needs much more focus.

Brian A. Smith
7 February 2005


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