Music Review: Crystal Gayle’s ‘When I Dream’

When I Dream by Crystal Gayle

Apparently seeking to avoid any charges that Crystal Gayle has ridden the coattails of Loretta Lynn, her famous sister, her record company goes out of its way to downplay the relation (e.g., by reporting in its press kit simply that she comes from a musical family). The label needn’t worry, however, since one listen to the new When I Dream convinced me that she could have made it big even if she were related only to me.

While the slickness and lyrical platitudes of her country/pop render most of the LP more of an aural than an emotional experience, Gayle consistently sidesteps the soap-opera sentimentality that plagues many similarly styled recordings. Helpful elements include the sparse, bright arrangements and crisp, understated production, largely because they allow attention to remain with the singer’s rich, seductive, well-phrased vocals.

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