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Classic Album Review: Dreamy

Artist: Beat Happening
Full Title: Dreamy
Label: K/Sub Pop
Year: 1991

Track List:
1) Me Untamed- 8
2) Left Behind- 8
3) Hot Chocolate Boy– 10!
4) I’ve Lost You- 8
5) Cry For a Shadow– 9
6) Collide- 6
7) Nancy Sin- 8
8) Fortune Cookie Prize- 8
9) Revolution Come and Gone- 8
10) Red Head Walking– 9

Beat Happening strikes again with their fourth album, Dreamy, their most polished sounding record yet. But, don’t worry it’s still the same minimalist, amatuer sounding Beat Happening you know and love. With this release, it seems like BH matured a bit in their subject matter, especially with tunes like “Me Untamed,” (a far cry from Johnson’s usual coy, lovey dovey lyrics) “Cry For a Shadow,” and “Revolution Come and Gone” (as Michael Azzerad cites, a clear reference to the sudden, apparent, demise of the underground movement). With that being said, there’s plenty of fun, adventerous (at least lyrically), creative, and ultimately joyful numbers. Chiefly, “Hot Chocolate Boy” fits this category; it is by far my favorite in their catalog and one of my all time beloved songs! Just, simple, but enthusiastic playing. If I had to choose one BH number to show to newbies, it would absolutely be HCB; it has nearly everything that made BH excellent. I really dig the line “He’s a sensation, Hot Chocolate Nation.” Overall, I like this album, but I do not favor every track. “Collide” is too repetitive and I often like repetitive songs, even for BH, but this time it’s just annoying. This album is filled with good songs, but only a few great ones. The higher quality production ameliorates the recording, but clearly isn’t the most important ingrediant in audio magic. As I said before, this is a good album, it just lacks an album feel to it, but all in all it is certainly KLYAM Recommended.

Grade B/ B+

P.S. if you go bonkers for Calvin Johnson’s deep, baritone voice, then you will most likely love his vocals here, as they are baritone as fuck…. or you will think he has a stomach ache like my mother says.