Album – Dreamers and Children – Cliff Rubin

Posted by admin on February 24th, 2007

I essentially received this album in the middle of last year. Just when I was about to post the review, I sent Cliff an email to check on some details and he told me he’d signed to the Crossroads label and was going back in the studio to rerecord the album for his new label. I finally got the new album in a few weeks ago, thinking my original review would just need a tinker hear and there, but in the end, it was apparent that it was easier to just start all over again.

It’s hard to write this review without referring back to the album as I originally received it. This was an album that had a very personal feel to it. It was like being part of some kind of healing process. It was a much more raw and intimate album, but where the new one is more produced, it still has that intimate charm. Vocally, Cliff’s voice isn’t the greatest, but this isn’t an album that’s all about hitting perfect notes, it’s much more than that.

The album opens with “Love is Knowing You” and from the get go, you can’t help but like it. Cliff is one of those rare people, who comes across as a nice guy. Now I could be totally wrong, but I like to think the music speaks volumes. I’m not going to dwell at all on a track by track comparison between this and the original version of the album, but suffice to say, that warmth is evident on both. “Life’s a Mystery” has that wonderful storytelling quality, that makes it a pleasure to listen to.

If I were to pick out my favorite tracks, they would have to be “Love is Knowing You”, “It’s Her Smile” and “My Mom” which at the beginning bares a striking resemblance to that great Elvis track “Always on My Mind”. I’m not overly enamoured with the final two tracks, “Sweet Little Feelin'” and “Divine Guidance”, whose musical styles seem at odds with the rest of the album.

Conclusion : It’s not often I receive albums that have that real personal touch. It’s also not often that I receive an album and then another re-recorded one, but when comparing the albums, I think Cliff made the right decision, as this one is much more polished, without any kind of overkill.

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