Ann Dyer: When I Close My Eyes (2003)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Vocalist Ann Dyer pares away all the nonessentials and rides a subtle but inexorable tidal flow into a search for interior truths on When I Close My Eyes.
The sound is spare, poetic, and haunting, the singer accompanied by just accoustic bass and drums for explorations of the darker levels of consciousness. The mood throughout feels brooding and ethereal, sometimes drone-like, a pensive expansion. Dyer's voice has a feather softness, bringing to mind Margo Timmons of the Cowboy Junkies – and like The Trinity Session,
that group's marvelous and unpretentious first album, When I Close My Eyes
The disc contains several Dyer originals, with the haunting "Underworld" a highlight. And also included are Dan Hicks' "I Scare Myself" and Björk's "Bachelorette." The music radiates a low-key, dark-hued, atmospheric artistic vision, creating a mood like Van Morrison's Astral Weeks, Dylan's Blood on the Tracks, or the The Trinity Sessions. It's a hypnotic experience that caresses and beguiles, a remarkably assured piece of musical artistry.
The bonus track, "Thirsty (Underworld Reprise Remix)," features the inimitable Chico Hamilton (81 years young) percussing and singing, as well as Rob Berger of The Tin Hat Trio joining the songstress, taking things into a groove.
Dyer's last disc, Revolver: A New Spin (Premonition, 1999), was a deep meditation on the classic Beatles album; When I Close My Eyes reaffirms her status as a consumate artist who delves deeply, without posturing of affectations, into her visions.
Track Listing: 1. Mermaid,
2. I Scare Myself,
6. New England Cowboy,
7. The Official Story,
9. One Rupi, One Roti,
10. The Felon,
11. She Dreams (Will O' The Wisp),
12. When I Close My Eyes (Theater Piece),
13. Thirsty (Underworld Reprise Remix)
Personnel: Chico Hamilton - Drums,
Sergio Brandao - Bass,
Ann Dyer - Vocals, Tanpura,
Jason Lewis - Drums,
Rob Burger - Accordion,
Liberty Ellman - Guitar
Record Label: Sunnyside Records