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Album Review: Dreamland by Glass Animals

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Glass Animals are an indie pop and psychedelic pop band from the United Kingdom. After hearing an advertisement from Spotify about Glass Animals for their debut album, I was hooked instantly. While each of their albums sounds completely different, they are able to keep their fans coming back for more. While I was a bit worried about some of the singles they put out for their latest album, they eventually grew on me and I enjoy them quite a bit. Dreamland marks the third studio album for Glass Animals.

The first track from the album is the title track, Dreamland. This was one track that I did not enjoy when it first came out, but the beauty and peacefulness that come from the orchestra at the beginning is calming. While it is strange for them to open up an album like this, it definitely sets the tone for something new from them. Dave Bayley sings and talks about some of the events that have happened in the past, and touches on certain topics that will be discussed later on the album.

Tangerine is a fun and bouncy track that has a lot of booming bass. You hear Dave's playful choice of words, as well as a familiar 'woah' sound effect. While the chorus of the track doesn't make much sense of the entire story, the verses reminisce about the time he had with this person, as well as the late nights that came with it. In an interview, he said that the track is about remembering the old youthful self of a friend, even though they have changed drastically.

((home movie: 1994)) is a short, six-second clip from his childhood. All it says is that it is May 7, 1994. The track eventually leads to Hot Sugar. It starts with some smooth synths playing in the background, as well as some futuristic, spaceship-like sounds. The introduction eventually subsides and you get the smooth vocals. One thing that is different is the layer and harmonies from the chorus the section. It almost seems out of place on the album, but it is a creative change. The theme of the track talks about being in love with someone's self, and more so just wanting to be like that person.

((home movie: btx)) is another quick, fourteen-second interlude. It seems to be another sound clip from his early childhood since the woman is asking if he's watching Sesame Street. That quick interlude eventually runs into Space Ghost Coast To Coast. During the verses, it almost seems like I hear the backing sound to the remix of The Macarena. Other than the almost-trap like beats, there's a lot of 90s and 00s nostalgia mixed in there, like the title of the track references a television show, he mentions the video game Grand Theft Auto, and talks about Dr. Dre. However, Dave says that these might be the reasons for the glorification of violence in today's culture.

Tokyo Drifting marks the next track on the album. I know what you might be thinking, the Denzel Curry feature seems out of the ordinary. I was hesitant about this track on first listen and wasn't sure how I felt about it. After several listens and having time for it to grow on me, it quickly became a favorite of mine. I would have never imagined Dave being a Denzel Curry fan, but maybe they met through mutual friends. Dave takes a stab at his rap-singing, which could definitely use some practice, but the beat is amazing with the brass beat switch. According to Dave in an interview, he is describing his alter ego on this track.

Besides the interludes, Melon and the Coconut is the shortest track on the album, just about two and a half minutes in length. The track opens up quietly with some sort of vocal effect used on his vocals. While he is using food as characters, he is using a melon and a coconut to depict a relationship ending and them breaking up. It's definitely a quick track that he was able to put together and it is raw in nature, but definitely one track I can easily skip.

Your Love (Déjà Vu) was another promotional single for the track. I was a bit worried about this track too, but like some of the others, it is growing on me. While the chorus paints a picture of this sexual relationship going on, it's more so about a toxic relationship. While you know this person is bad for you and it won't end well, you just can't seem to stay away from this person. Even though you might think it will get better, it never ends up that way.

Waterfalls Coming Out Your Mouth definitely feels like it could be a track off of their previous album, How to Be a Human Being. Besides a reminiscent backing track, Dave talks about how people tend to act differently at the beginning of a relationship. You try to portray this perfect version of yourself. The closing outro basically talks about how things have changed drastically from the beginning of the relationship.

It's All So Incredibly Loud actually starts out the exact opposite of what you might think, very quiet. While it does start out quiet, it just grows into this epic track with layers of synths building up and the growing voice level. You have a synth carrying the entire track with a regular chord progression. This is about the mere seconds before you're about to say something to someone that will change your entire life. You might say something that will upset them and change the entire course of your life. Towards the last half-minute of the track, it eventually returns to a normal sound level.

((home movie: rockets)) is another, minute-long interlude track on the album. After the quick sound clip from his early life, we get a small synth and string section that introduces us to Domestic Bliss. As always, this is another emotional track from Dave that illustrates an abusive relationship that one of his friend's mother was in. While he didn't understand what was going on as a child, as he got older, he understood what was going on. He just wants that person to be happy and away from her abuser.

The Heat Waves single escaped my radar when it first came out. I actually didn't listen to this track until a few weeks before the release of this album. I was a little disappointed since this is by far the best track off the album. While the chorus of the track can be reminiscent of those late nights during the summer, the verses talk more about being vulnerable and being okay with that since you can't make everyone happy. The mere second towards the last minute of the track when the track is just silent for a quick second is breath-taking when the beat comes back in.

The last interlude track from the album is ((home movie: shoes on)). As the title suggests, this is a young version of Dave when he tried to put his shoes on, except he put them on the wrong feet so his mother helps him. It eventually leads to Helium which opens up with a beautiful guitar part. There are also parts of the track that sound eerily familiar to It's All So Incredibly Loud. The ending part of the track actually interpolates the title track, Dreamland. While the lyrics are up for interpretation, Dave says it's about the shyness and beginning of a relationship. The album ends with a recording of young Dave saying goodbye.

While the future of the band was up in the air after one of the member's accident, I'm glad that they were able to come back stronger and make music. This just proves that nothing can stop them or get in the way of making new music. I'm glad that they can continue on a positive note of making new and exciting music.
Overall Rating: 8/10
Favorite Tracks: Tangerine, Space Ghost Coast To Coast, Tokyo Drifting, Your Love (Déjà Vu), It's All So Incredibly Loud, Heat Waves

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