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Dream Academy - 1990 A Different Kind Of Weather

ARTIST: Dream Academy
ALBUM: A Different Kind Of Weather
LABEL: Reprise
SERIAL: 9 26307-2
YEAR: 1990


LINEUP: Nick Laird-Clowes - lead vocals, banjo, guitars * Kate St John - oboe, sax, cor anglais, fuzz guitar, vocals * Gilbert Gabriel - keyboards, bass, vocals

David Gilmour - bass, bass synthesizer, guitar, vocals * Steve Lambert - guitar, harp * Anthony Moore, Jon Carin - keyboards, programming * Pino Palladino, Guy Pratt - bass * Pete Thomas, Simon Tyrell, Gary Wallace - drums, percussion

TRACK LISTING: 01 Love * 02 Mercy Killing * 03 Lucy September * 04 Gaby Says * 05 Waterloo * 06 Twelve-Eight Angel * 07 St Valentines Day * 08 It'll Never Happen Again * 09 Forest Fire * 10 Lowlands * 11 Not For Second Prize


Like Tears For Fears and Talk Talk, The Dream Academy was a top draw UK pop band with prog tendencies that made the 80's bearable for this reviewer. By the time The Dream Academy's debut appeared in 1985, traditional AOR had run its course for yours truly and the incredible single 'Life In A Northern Town' was all I needed to blow off the legions of Bon Jovi's and Ratt's that seemed to be falling from the sky on MTV. Of course, I still kept one eye and ear on all that hair band malarkey but quality pop is what I wanted and The Dream Academy delivered especially considering the involvement of Pink Floyd's David Gilmour. On this, the group's final record David Gilmour again handles production chores offering up a beautiful album of quality art rock that still holds up wonderfully today.

The Songs
I have often wondered about the band's label, promoting The Dream Academy as a folk rock band when they were nothing of the sort. Perhaps it was the chamber music stylizations that provoked such comparisons and that vibe can certainly be felt on 'A Different Kind Of Weather' as well, but here David Gilmour gives the group a little more of a pop feel with a pinch of high tech AOR. Opening with a gorgeous cover of John Lennon's classic 'Love', the tone is set for an album filled with autumnal colour and scents. Following up the dubiously titled 'Mercy Killing' and the charming 'Lucy September', throughout the album the vocal counterpoint between Nick Laird-Clowes and the beautiful Kate St John is quite stunning. Each track is something special and in particular the moody and sublime 'It'll Never Happen Again' featuring Gilmour contributing an unmistakably Floyd-ish guitar solo.

In Summary
Feeling The Dream Academy had run its course after this album failed to chart significantly, The group split with little fanfare and the only member that truly has been active since is Kate St John who has put out a couple good solo albums, especially 1997's 'Second Sight' and projects with Roger Eno and Channel Light Vessel. It's sad The Dream Academy never escaped the minor leagues, but if you are unfamiliar with their work there's no time like the present to check out the band's back catalogue starting with 'A Different Kind Of Weather'.

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