Mary-Kathryn: Dreams & Visions - Music Review|
By Liz Singer, HOT INDIE NEWS .com
Date Published: June 27, 2008
While contemporary Christian music may not be popular in the indie world, Mary-Kathryn's Dreams & Visions gives devoted indie fans a reason to open their ears. Her album stands apart from other contemporary Christian artists, with songs that infuse diverse melodies and slow, trance-like verses. Thoroughly pleasant, Mary-Kathryn's voice is reminiscent of the sweetly-bitter sound of Vedera and almost similar to a modern-day Amy Grant in terms of peppiness and content.
The opening track, "Incense of Praise," begins with an exotic instrumental introduction, with the tone changing soon after, leading listeners to the pleasant surprise of a Sara Evans-style twang. The seamless lyrics continue through "Dreamers": "Before the rocks and mountains cry/ who of us will testify," allowing Mary-Kathryn's airy voice to stream out as smoothly as the mountain air she is singing about. Dreams & Visions succeeds in invoking feelings of weightlessness, causing you to feel like you are floating from note to note. The looping sensation of Mary-Kathryn's voice strings every word together, making it seem as if spaces or punctuation do not exist in music.
Bringing together listeners of all beliefs with its serene sound, "My Father's World" celebrates the beauty of life, which is a theme that all people can appreciate. The slow, steady beat brings joy back into focus and forces listeners to pause and reflect on all that life has to offer. "Glory Forever" has the strongest hook, while "Eve of Your Return" is a sincere soliloquy about patiently waiting for something better. The dubbed-over "ah's" of "Eve" add the illusion of a choir of angels—a fitting touch to an already overwhelmingly spiritual song. The final track, "Wailing Wall," includes Buddhist-inspired melodies and riveting extra vocals which serve to intensify the emotions evoked by the rest of the album.
Dreams & Visions is by no means an album to blast before a Friday night out, but it is the quintessential album for a night in—while soaking in a bubble bath, surrounded by the dim light of aroma therapy candles. The album's spiritualized vocals and inspiring musical interludes provide ample time for reflection away from the chaos of everyday life. Dreams & Visions invites a new era of listeners, Christians and non-believers alike, to a fresh, diverse sound, full of echoing—and meaningful—messages.