Glass Animals 'Dreamland' Album Review

Glass Animals are celebrating their long overdue moment. The Oxford band curate their most personal yet ambitious project to date.

Since their last release, How To Be A Human Being, four years ago, the band have retraced their steps and revisit a flashback reel of a turn of events that has become Dreamland. The studio album by Glass Animals is an autobiographical tale that is narrated by shimmering pop hits. On the last project, frontman Dave Bayley created a fictional character to tell a story on humanity, and now he rewrites history to turn fiction into facts.

Through rose colored glasses, Dave Bayley ups the production on the project to balance the sense of nostalgia that is apparent throughout the album. Discovering the loss of innocence, as he turns the VHS on for a rewind of home videos, Bayley recounts his personal life with each song working as a chapter of the novel that is Dreamland. Much like previous records, the sounds on this album is hazy and sharpen, this time much more polished and inspired by hip-hop (along with a fitting Denzel Curry feature).

Diving into a deep odyssey of self-reflection, listeners travel through the various stages of the life of Dave Bayley as they groove along to every beat. The title-track opener is an emotional outcry that is soul bearing yet an ethereal escape. With bits and pieces of home movies utilized as interludes, Bayley provides a wider insight into the world of Dreamland from his own experiences. At times, the project is too cool for school, other times it’s a hipster’s delight, but most of the time, it’s a modern hybrid album of celebrating life and embracing the bittersweet moments that is coming to face-to-face with nostalgia.

Dreamland is a much-needed moment of escapism, a guilty pleasure in the sense of needing to let loose while the world crumbles in the background. Looking back at the themes of coming of age, heartbreak, and the loss of innocence, Dreamland is an alternative reality of endless possibilities, one that finds you crying in the club.

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