In 2010, Multi-instrumentalist PJ Shadowhawk released Land Of Dreams. I‘m always in awe when one musician does everything including singing. He had some help by Evan Raymond, who did several guitar solos on the album.
The album starts out with a two-part suite, “Songs of Atlantis Suite: Seventh Age” (8:25) and “Songs of Atlantis Suite: Atlantis” (5:19) with the first part starting with some heavily played piano joined by some drums. It slows down into almost a ballad. Piano seems to be the main instrument on both of these tracks. The Songs Of Atlantis Suite is one of my favorites off the album. I could listen to them both all night and hear new things each time.
Next up is the title track, “Land Of Dreams” (5:20) has an art rock feel to it and some unique sounding vocals. I think that this song could easily be a hit single, in a perfect world.
Then there’s the first epic of the album, “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” (15:00), which the title turns me off but the content doesn’t. It has a cinematic vibe about it until the 5 minute mark when the guitar comes in. This song has many tempo and mood changes. I think if the song was listed with only the initials (W.W.J.B.), it might not turn off people. The song is mostly instrumental except for the final 3 minutes. Again very unique vocals that takes a while to warm up to.
“Alone” (5:28) has a AOR /art rock vibe to it. Very straight forward type of song. It was the first song that I honestly couldn’t warm up to, especially following an epic.
The next epic, “Two Sides” (12:44) starts off in a somber tone then begins to morph into something different ever few minutes. The vocals at the beginning sort of turned me off but it returned to the unique vocals previously heard. This is another of my favorites despite the vocals in the beginning.
Ending off the main part of the album is “Shadowhawk Attacks” (2:28), an instrumental that combines an 80s synth style with hard edged guitar parts.
Now the bonus material starts with another two-part suite “Apocalypse (Pt. 1)” (7:01) and “Apocalypse (Pt.2)” (8:20). Both parts have a cool 80s vibe to them. Aside from the spoken word parts, this suite is really good and it should have been better as a part of the main album.
The final song is“ Carry Me Away” (6:41) which the first half is an instrumental and the second half has a ballad quality to it. I don’t have any strong feelings about this song. It really could have been left off even as a bonus track.
Overall, Land Of Dreams is a strong album with very few parts that could have been edited out. If you like 70s & 80s art rock with a heavy dose of prog, then look no further than this album. I look forward to what PJ Shadowhawk will come up with next. I feel that this album deserves a verdict of a strong recommendation.
Reviewed by Ron Fuchs on July 3rd, 2011