Sunday, August 2, 2015

ADDICTED DREAMS-Don't Say It's Simple (2007)


Call me addicted to 80's synthpop, which is the reason I have been immersing myself in ERASURE's discography‐Andy Bell and company's more recent albums, to be precise—for the past three days. And with that immersion of synthpop has come my sudden shift to all things electronic music, as indicated by my feature of FIREVISION from a couple of days ago. Now enter the German synthpop duo that calls itself ADDICTED DREAMS. While they might not be quite the dream team that ERASURE has been for nearly three decades, their dark ambient trance/techno sound is pleasing enough on the ears to put your mind into a dreamy, hypnotic state.....if you don't have nightmares from taking in the deep, monotonic vocals of the duo's lead singer singing the somewhat haunting lyrics of many of the songs here on their one and only album, "Don't Say I's Simple". But it really is that simple—them being a modern-day DEPECHE MODE sound-alikes, delivering songs dealing with gloomy thoughts, fears, emotional pain and other unsettling imagery. Yet there's a odd beauty to all of the poetic songwriting, and the cool electronically-charged techno beats and atmospheric ambiance adds an additional layer of glitz to enhance that dark beauty. So in the closed quarters of my partially-lit bedroom on a quiet night while simultaneously working on an online project, I had creepy songs like "Close Your Eyes" (I felt like I entered a dark world of sorts on that one) and "Come On Dance" (such an odd arrangement to the main chorus) keeping me company. Well, maybe more creepy with the vocals than anything else. I found something strangely catchy about Track #5's "My Head". While the lyrics sound like somebody's playing head games with a person's mind, I was simply enjoying the hard thumping synthpop beat playing alongside the distinctive moody melody in the background. And that's also how I felt listening to "Take My Heart" a few minutes later. Really, I was hooked at the very beginning with the deep keyboard notes accenting the sweet somber melody and the chilled ambiance. A bit of light amidst the darkness, I'd say, shining all through this gem. Didn't quite grasp the theme of "Evil Recoil"—it may requite a couple of extra listens—but I sure took hold of the groovy dance beat, which is one of the best such uptempo moments on this album. Songs like the title track are a perfect example of the contrasting irony between the songwriting and the music—a warming melodious glow against the dark, gloomy theme, the line 'you are afraid' being heard at least a couple of times. But then there are songs like "I Can Help" with the sad tonality that totally match the sad theme; here, there is something about 'feeling pain' uttered somewhere in one of the verses, among other things—another gem within this batch of ADDICTED DREAMS. And not to scare potential listeners away, but Track #13's "Your Big Greed" is truly one for the creeped-out playlist. While my ears strained to understand what the 'big greed' voiced about in the lyrics actually was, I was treated to some semi-hardcore techno which, in sync with the monotonic (and nearly demonic) vocals, momentarily turns this addicting synthpop dream into a marvelous music nightmare:

1. Sweet Like An Angel
2. Close Your Eyes
3. Dancing In The Street
4. Always Wanted
5. My Head
6. Wait For Your Calling
7. Ardent Wish
8. Take My Heart
9. Evil Recoil
10. Come On Dance
11. Don't Say It's Simple
12. I Can Help
13. Your Big Greed
14. You Don't Believe

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