Steve Poltz, Dreamhouse

The comfortable, seemingly nonchalant sway of Steve Poltz’s latest, Dreamhouse may very well be a nod to East Coast singer-songwriter Joel Plaskett, long one of Canada’s undiscovered strumming charmers. After all, not only did Plaskett produce Dreamhouse, he played six different instruments and provided backing vocals. But maybe Plaskett simply adds fuel to Poltz’s fire. Both artists share an affinity for the casual, down-home sort of finger-picking that reminds you of home, no matter how far away you are from your home.

Many of the tracks on Dreamhouse, including the dreamy “License Plate Eyes” would figure well in a road-trip soundtrack, provided that those travelling don’t take themselves too seriously. While “License Plate Eyes” is a gracious, feel good track, there remains nothing daring or even slightly inventive about it. And that goes for most of Dreamhouse. “Dreams #23” is as one might imagine, a terribly comfortable lullaby that will indeed put you to sleep. Dreamhouse should be renowned for its patient, gorgeous subtlety. Yet likewise, “Digging For Icicles” sounds like an awful rip-off of an even worse Jack Johnson track. This, unfortunately is the sort of legacy that talented songwriters like Poltz and Plaskett ought to leave. It’s a little curious that this meeting of talents didn’t breed better results. Then again, if you’ve never heard of either of one of them, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by Dreamhouse.

By Joshua Kloke

[Rating: 2.5/5]

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