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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Dreamin' Wild, 27 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Dreamin' Wild (Audio CD)
It would be a great shame for this LP to be the preserve of hipsters alone - Ariel Pink has covered 'Baby' for his upcoming LP along with a wonderfully mutated version on Dean Blunt & Inga Copeland's Black Is Beautiful (which led me here). The splendidly goofy/effortlessly cool cover doesn't really prepare you for the contents.

The feel of the LP is of a guileless, love-sick bent which can only be achieved by a pair of earnest, semi-isolated farmer's sons in Washington state with a knack for creating great tunes.

Opener 'Good Time' is like Aerosmith's 'Mama Kin' fronted by a fledgling Darryl Hall. 'Give Me The Chance' is devilishly funky in a down-home kind of way with some beautifully incongruous spacey keyboard effects as if King Tubby has been at the mixing deck. Then comes the aforementioned 'Baby' which is a peerless slice of stalker-pop, the musical equivalent of a warm summer breeze ruffling muslin drapes. Donnie's swooning croon is used to devastating effect, all doe-eyed puppiness but perhaps too eager with requests of holdin' hands, makin' love and stayin' together forever.
The 6 minute 'Feels Like The Sun' was conceived as a 'play along' for budding Emersons and has the feel of Doobie Brothers' Long Train Runnin' complete with fluctuating time signatures, intentional or not.
'Love Is' could soundtrack any slow dance at the prom, 'Don't Go Lovin' Nobody Else' is a slightly over-intense paean to a first love ending in a winsome falsetto and 'Dream Full of Dreams' is under-pinned by a bass-heavy synth line.
The LP closes with the superb 'My Heart' with the synth sounding like a sawing double bass as the guitar cuts groovy echoic twangs. For some reason, especially towards the end, Donnie's vocals recall Liz Fraser's on 'Song To The Siren'.

Overall, this LP is a portal into the wonderfully innocent and unexpectedly funky world of two teenagers with a vision - you can imagine the Lisbon sisters in The Virgin Suicides falling hopelessly in love with the Emerson boys.

The last thing that must be mentioned is the superbly researched and written sleeve-notes which I won't spoil but contain such an odd, endearing and inspiring back-story of familial support which just adds to the magic.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Livin' The Dream, 29 Jun 2012
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OMG! It's got a plug! (Winchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreamin' Wild (Audio CD)
Looking like Siamese twins at an Elvis convention, the cover of their sole album totally betrays the music created by US teenagers Donnie and Joe Emerson. Originally self-released in limited quantities in 1979, the circumstances behind the recording of this album - wonderfully explained in the liner notes - are almost as interesting as the music itself. Growing up in the remote farming outback of Washington State, Donnie and Joe had a passion for music and noting their interest their father did what any self-respecting father would do and mortgaged much of his farmland in order to build them a state of the art and fully kitted out recording studio. The cost: $100,000.

The music is a range of power pop - album opener 'Good Time' would fit on any Big Star album - blue-eyed Southern soul and late 70's MOR / Yacht Rock. Written, recorded and produced by 17 year old Donnie, he also plays all of the instruments and his elder brother, 19 year old Joe, co-wrote two of the tracks and plays the drums. Given their ages, the quality and overall sound is very mature. Featuring lyrics about teenage love, the ballads, particularly 'Dream Full of Dreams', are heartbreaking - Donnie was obviously a sensitive kid and his sometimes mournful vocals compliment the songs so well.

The songs do more often than not sound like demos but given the the lack of a professional mix when originally recorded, you can't really complain too much especially when you consider the brothers' relative inexperience and self-taught studio skills. Housed in a digipak and with a playing time of 40:44, the sleeve notes are outstanding (some of the best I've read), re-telling the story of the farmer boys who lived their dream and are now re-living it again.

Light In The Attic Records have released a seven minute promotional video to accompany the release of this album (available on YouTube) that features interviews with Donnie and Joe. There's no sense of over-blown vindication from them - they're just two middle-aged working class fellas glad that their music is being made available to a wider audience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 70's retro album - buy it, 5 Jan 2013
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I. Paetow (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Dreamin' Wild (MP3 Download)
I heard a track ("Baby") on BBC 6 radio and thought "wow," I must check out this group/album, only to find it was a really old album from the 70's. Yes, it does sound dated and admiitedly the recording isn't top notch, as it was recorded in a converted barn using 8-track. But if you want to relive the 70's, then check out this album. There is a good mixture of songs on "Dreamin' Wild," given that Donnie and Joe were only in their teens when they wrote/ recorded them. The instrumental "Feels Like The Sun" is good, but is a bit repetative, being nearly 7 mins. long. But the rest of the album tracks are well worth a listen. Go on, head back to the 70's and check out this fab album! It's just something different [and original] to a lot of "repetative pop" music out there today.
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Dreamin' Wild
Dreamin' Wild by Donnie and Joe Emerson (Audio CD - 2012)
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