Make Believe by Dalrymple is one unique album. It didn’t take me long to start organizing my thoughts. To my ears this sounds like fantasy based theater production perhaps based in medieval times. And yes I was thinking about things like wizards, knights and all the criteria which form such fantasy worlds basically the entire time. I’m pretty sure there’s a lute in some of these songs furthering my resolve on the matter.
This album contains thirteen songs and is a whopping one hour and nineteen minutes. Suffice it to say this is a double album's worth of music. It’s a lot to take in and I will admit I had to break up my listening sessions.
The opening “Prelude” does sound like the beginning of a play rather than most albums I’ve heard but it sets the mood appropriately. “In My Youth” is a fanciful song with colorful vocals and some interesting arrangements. It’s not only the choice of instrumentation but also the breakdown in the middle of the songs which sounds very much like the theme to Mission Impossible except with Yoko Ono type vocals, horns and cool percussion elements.
The majestic “Six Conjuring Candles” has hints of David Bowie and to a lesser extent Fleetwood Mac while “Green Man” is a sparse and spacious song that revolves around harp and vocals.
The haunting and oddly terrifying “The Blessing of Pan” sounds like children chanting around some kind of ominous circle. This song might give me nightmares. “Fall to Sleep” is a highlight and has a ’50s pop angle at times. It’s romantic and I loved the vocals on this song.
“GogMagog” sounded like straight theater and I could see the set in my mind's eye. Is that an autoharp I hear on “Birdfish?” Either way this song is great and made me laugh at points. The centerpiece is the almost twenty-minute long song “The Trickster Ferryman & Morning of the Magicians.” This song is an absolute journey in itself. The album continues with some very good songs in the same spirit of the rest of the album.
The audience feels evident to me based on what I mentioned. In fact this album was turned into a play. I haven’t seen the play myself but I would have suggested that the artist do that if they hadn’t already.
I got to hand it to the artist for pulling off something this epic in scope. If the play shows up in Chicago, I’ll definitely be buying tickets.
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