Alice Boman
Dream On


2.5
average

Review

by SowingSeason STAFF
January 20th, 2020 | 17 replies


Release Date: 01/17/2020 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Another waveless day out on the lake.

When Alice Boman first caught my ears with the likes of ‘The More I Cry’ and ‘Don’t Forget About Me’ – the former a slow-motion heartbreak and the latter a wistful farewell – I was certain that I’d already uncovered the first indie-pop gem of 2020. Boman’s voice is smooth and angelic, sliding across elegant and minimal soundscapes like water dripping down an icicle – these sad, shape-shifting vignettes. It felt like she could make any song interesting with only her voice.

Unfortunately, when Dream On was revealed in its entirety, very little changed. Every song feels like a dejected ode to someone or something far off, but Boman too often settles for sleepy when she aspires for dreamy; cliché when she’s pining for insightful. Opener ‘I Wish We Had More Time’ rocks back and forth like a boat enduring the relentless crests of an afternoon tied to the dock, and the song is only just as interesting aside from a ghostly choir that injects life into the final thirty seconds. The ensuing ‘Heart on Fire’ is another ballad that is too elegant for its own good, repeating the lines “you set my heart on fire” to a glass-tinged backdrop – but again, it just glides along aimlessly until it dissipates into nothing. It takes relatively little time for listeners to start asking themselves, “who cares”, and that’s sort of the overarching dilemma with Boman’s debut.

Chock-full of minimalistic indie-pop ballads, Dream On makes almost no waves. Sure, it settles for pretty while occasionally stumbling upon gorgeous, but its consistent atmosphere is a result of Boman’s mesmerizing vocal cords – not any artistic appetite for creation. The aforementioned pair of singles (‘The More I Cry’, ‘Don’t Forget About Me’) best showcase her potential, combining palpable emotion with moody rhythms. Nearly the entire remainder of the record suffers from a particularly bland case of homogeneity, making it difficult to pick one song out of the bunch. Some elements of inspiration momentarily peak their heads out of the water, gasping for air, but it’s never long until they plummet back into darkness never to be heard from again.

As frustrating as these transient peaks are (the second half of ‘This Is Where It Ends’ deserves a special mention), they’re a reminder that Dream On’s pitfalls are primarily a result of poor direction as opposed to absent talent. It’s rather easy to envision a future record where Boman pairs her voice with burgeoning electronics, swelling strings, or even the occasional electric guitar riff just to spice things up – and has it elevate her career. Understandably, that may not be her style – but Dream On is missing something, and as long as Boman continues to trudge the path of minimalism (that almost borders on indifference), her music will struggle to differentiate itself from the thousands of other indie-pop/folk songstresses out there who all write and sing about heartache in a similar way.



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user ratings (20)
2.7
average


Comments:Add a Comment 
SowingSeason
Moderator
January 20th 2020


35798 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This was a little bit of a letdown. The singles hinted towards something much better. Might still be worth a passive listen if you're into minimal indie-pop.

Digging: Fleet Foxes - Shore

WatchItExplode
January 20th 2020


8285 Comments


Also thought this was lame...

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2020


21218 Comments


Dat look.

Scary.

Digging: Hallas - Conundrum

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 20th 2020


58929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Sucks mega. Everything about this feels like shes just trying for broad appeal, losing all of the charm of her eps in the process

Dewinged
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2020


21218 Comments


"Dream On" looks at you like she's gonna kill you as soon as you fall asleep.

Slex
Contributing Reviewer
January 20th 2020


10326 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah this was pretty damn disappointing

Digging: Deftones - Ohms

wwf
January 21st 2020


6833 Comments


is that pam beesly

Rowan5215
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2020


44039 Comments


i actually hate that album art with a passion. like so much

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 21st 2020


58929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

She really does look like Pam. If pam was like a 4 instead of a 5. Probs why sowing checked this lol

WatchItExplode
January 21st 2020


8285 Comments


Rude. But true.

Lord(e)Po)))ts
January 21st 2020


58929 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

The truth ain't always polite

Trophycase
January 21st 2020


1930 Comments


Is this the girl from the Office?

Trophycase
January 22nd 2020


1930 Comments


Oh wait, this was already covered.

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 22nd 2020


35798 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

As much as I appreciate all the in-depth dialogue and discourse about the album cover, I don't really see a huge resemblance.

garas
January 22nd 2020


4941 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0 | Sound Off

So booooooring. At least it has some nice ABBA-vibes here and there. (Is this a Swede thing?)

And these narcissistic "facebook-profil-pic" type of album covers are one of the most stupid trends ever.

Digging: Slagmaur - Von Rov Shelter

SowingSeason
Moderator
January 24th 2020


35798 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Agreed (about it being boring, and the album cover trend). Maybe she'll get 'em next time; she does have a great voice.

Space Jester
January 31st 2020


8937 Comments


Is that the girl Will Ferrell fondles in that ice skating movie



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