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songs of simple dreams

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 1, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Finally available in the US after several years as an import-only UK release, Songs of Simple Dreams lures the listener by weaving earnest songwriting, transcendent lyricism, nouveau blues, and Alt-Americana arrangements into the fabric of a new musical consciousness. Coloured by lush and haunting harmonies and soaring guitar work, the album is a painstakingly-crafted patchwork of moving material, from the powerful protest music of ‘August Sun’ and ‘Darkness on the Land’ to the fragile folkiness of ‘Daydream Tomorrows’ and the sweet sensuality of ‘Baby, Don’t You Follow.’ With Songs of Simple Dreams, Smoke Ring Days creates aural commentary that spans the gamut from heartfelt emotional outpourings to well-placed political punches.

Review

"In this day of over production, its encouraging to hear an album with the right mixture of space and music." -- Kim Reed, On the Street

"This sleeper pop hit has boulder-sized hook[s] that will get your attention [and] exceptional folky vocal harmonies." -- Peter Standish, The Gavin Report
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 1, 2001)
  • Original Release Date: June 1, 2001
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CD Baby
  • ASIN: B00005MNGW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,632 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
What convinced me to by this album was the song "Lord Let Me Live Again". I am not into organized religion, and not religious at all really, but something really struck me about that song. It reminds me of some of my other favorite artists who write about religion and spirituality but never shove it down your throat, it is just there at times. The other thing I like about this album is the interesting mix of sounds, besides the usual guitar, bass and drums there are so many other unique sounds like flutes, mandolins, acordian, marimba and more. This is a good trip from start to finish. I would consider Smoke Ring Days to be good songwriters, the material here is quite good. I really like songs that make powerful statements. Listen to "August Sun" and "Darkness on the Land" - powerful stuff to say the least. It is obvious these people create soulful poetic music deep from within their souls. A real treat to the senses.
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Format: Audio CD
What really strikes me about this band is the meaningful songs they write. Take "Sleeping With Open Eyes" a song about the cold war or "Darkness on the Land" a song about the struggles of Native American people or "Lord Let Me Live Again" a song about spiritual awakening. These are all well thought out lyrical and musical ideas. I am a fan of mostly folk-rock and although Smoke Ring Days have a much heavier sound they both write great songs with great lyrics. Smoke Ring Days at times remind me a little of old U2, the same urgent passion of a band really giving it all they've got just to get heard. I think they have succeded, because this is a really good CD. I purchased this CD because of the mp3 of "Sleeping with Open Eyes" I got from Pitchfork Magazine and I was very impressed. if you like powerful and passionate music you will most likely enjoy this album, they Have a lot to say.
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Format: Audio CD
The thing I really like about independent music is that you can hear some good music that hasn't been played to death. The problem is trying to find it. A lot of the so called "indie" music is not much more than someone screaming into a microphone and playing a few chords. Most of these people either have no talent or are just not ready to make a record. Since home recording is cheap and easy and digital distribution is also easy, there is a glut of junk you have to look through to find something good. One of the better bands I found recently is Smoke Ring Days. What really makes this band worthwhile is the fact that they can write a song and are half way decent musicians. To me, the heart of any album is the quality of the songs--there are a few good ones here. I think the production could use some work though. In this day and age, you usually don't hear people write songs with any kind of real meaning; they bring me back to a time when lyrics really mattered. A lot of the songs here address various social and political issues a lot of people would be clueless about. It is nice to hear music not aimed at 12 year olds. The fact that no big record company or big budget is involved is very impressive. I hope they get more popular.
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Format: Audio CD
I have always enjoyed music that is fronted by a female voice. Some of my favorite music has been by Patti Smith, Grace Slick, Chrissie Hynde and Stevie Nicks (just to name a few). Over the years, the genre seems to have split into either the loud tuneless punk variety or the singer/songwriter that needs a shot of Geritol variety to kick start it. So few seem to be doing any good solid rock music with any thought behind it. One of the few bands that fits this bill is Smoke Ring Days. A band that creates music that moves your heart, mind and soul all at the same time. One of the other reviews called them the thinking-person's band; I would say that is a perfect description. The fact that they are only known to a small sophisticated audience says something right there. This is the best album to start with since it has most of the classic songs on one album. Truly a great album by a great band.
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Format: Audio CD
I remember when I first heard this album, playing at a local radio station when it first came out, and a thing that struck me was how well it sounded as a whole. As opposed to many albums that are one or two good songs sprinkled among the song filler. It's hard to pick a "best" song on the album, but my favourites have to be the powerful and lyrical "The Healing Time" and true and moving, "Darkness on the Land". Their hearts are certainly in all of the songs, and it shows. The digital remastering is a bonus. There are some diffrent songs on this U.S. version where is "Frontline", one of the best songs is missing.
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Format: Audio CD
This really is a very good album, filled with depth and passion and shaped by one of music's most distinct, compelling voices. I actually bought this album long ago, before I had even heard any of their music. The name of the group had a certain appeal to me, and there is something about the cover that drew me to it. Of course, what matters here is really the music, and I think this album reveals the very heart and soul of Smoke Ring Days. Not yet superstars, all of the musicians poured copious amounts of passion into each and every song, making this music both incredibly enchanting to the ears and compelling to the heart and mind. The voices are a beacon of soul-seeking enlightenment themes most artists (as well as most people) often shy away from. For example, Darkness on the Land focuses on Native America, Sleeping With Open Eyes addresses trust and the Cold War, and Lord, Let Me Live Again is a plaintive lament for a world in which spiritual comfort is needed. The Healing Time, my favorite, is a song about the personal frustration in a person, and it expresses such passion and joy in the prospect of learning that it could well serve as the de facto theme song for any adult recovery program. Daydream Tomorrows, quite simply, hauntingly beautiful. It is unfortunate that the group's cover of Ian Hunter's All of the Good Ones Are Taken was removed from the origonal release and put on the Sins of Commission CD because I like it a lot, certainly as much as the original.
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