My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Dale Watson – ‘Dreamland’

MI0000415868For his seventh studio album, Dale Watson desired change. For Dreamland he hired Ray Benson, of Asleep At The Wheel, to produce. Watson had a hand in writing each of the tracks on Dreamland, which was released on Koch Records in 2004.

The album maintains a consistent speed throughout, with a focus on mid-tempo numbers that play up the pedal steel and twangy guitars. True to Watson’s unique brand, Dreamland features Texas country all the way.

A perfectly exemplifier of the record as a whole is opener “Honky Tonkers Don’t Cry,” which features steel, twang, and Watson’s distinctive voice. “Ain’t A Cow in Texas” showcases Watson’s playful side. “I Wish You’d Come Around” is a great neo-traditional ballad, although Watson could’ve injected a bit more personality into his vocal performance.

While it’s hard to find any significant faults with Dreamland, a criticism of the album is the slick production; a more perfect sound then had been featured on Watson’s recordings up until that point. While the album certainly lacks a bit of roughness, I didn’t feel the production hindered any enjoyment of the tracks as a whole.

Like, say, George Strait, Watson is a very consistent performer who sticks to the sounds that work for him. In his non-commercial world, his approach works just fine. Thankfully it works in the real world, too, making Dreamland a very enjoyable yet not totally essential listen. To anyone who really enjoys Texas country, this is the album for you.

Grade: B+

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