Jamie Williams Sits Back Sharing His Beautiful Dreams
The album Beautiful Dreams and the second acoustic solo album from Jamie Williams, normally part of his big band sound of Jamie Williams and The Roots Collective. Songwriting flows from Jamie’s pen and as he says; “performing and writing are my way of taming my demons and are as natural as life itself to me” The album is fourteen mellow tracks out of Essex via Nashville more country than British Folk. The album has a flow the tempo nudges up and down with the addition of Paul Hollingsworth on trumpet adding an extra dimension on many of the tracks. As you listen to the album you are soothed into a Williams zone gentle and never shocking. The beat stays true and for me, fewer tracks with more tonal shape and variance would have turned the image of a Beautiful Dream into a reality. Sometimes you need a bolt of lightning and a clash of thunder to give the dreams shape and a sense of reality especially on tracks like In My Times of Darkness that are looking at the darker side of life.
Opening with Spare A Thought it is asking us to think of others and introduces us to Jamie’s distinctive vocals with the trumpet piercing through adding a rawness as the theme of love of humanity is explored with the feeling of disempowerment across Britain today. A political anthem with no real anger or passion that matches the lyrics in the melody. Love of his wife is celebrated with Love of My Life; exploring love is the essence of the album and the romance continues with the release date of 14th February.
The title track is with a guitar that stings and Naomi Poole weaving her cello as the words are at times more spoken than sung a poem of a Beautiful Dream as the lyrics are intoned matching the chords of the weeping cello.
Pulling back into the English Countryside with Bitter Is My Beer, a melancholy song definitely warm British beer not fizzy light American beer from a bottle. This is beer that you cradle as you hold your emotions in and feel a deep sadness. The album has a vulnerability summed up with Box Marked Fragile this is music that drifts and turns dipping into emotions but never resolving your angst that is left to mournful trumpet and cello strings that shiver with tears. Jamie uses the solo album to explore a variety of styles, snatches of mariachi style trumpet and echoes of blues on Whispering Blues with its percussive backdrop.
Jamie Williams’ solo album, Beautiful Dreams floats away off a soggy cloud. The musicianship is good, but for me something is missing an injection of purpose and a shaping of a sound that is acoustic Jamie. As the last notes of We Are One, the resounding memory is for the atmospheric trumpet the words have got lost in the mix. Acoustic album works if the lyrics empower, entreat and connect and in this dream land they didn’t for me.
Jamie Williams – Beautiful Dreams
SIXdoodle paws out of TEN ….
- Spare A Thought
- Love Of My Love
- Lovely In Libson
- Beautiful Dream
- Twinkle In Your Eye
- Bitter Is My Beer
- Box Marked Fragile
- Trying To Get In Touch With Me
- Whispering Blues
- In My Times Of Darkness
- You Still Looked So Good To Me
- We Are One