I’m sure you’ve contemplated that pesky and complex question “What is the meaning of life?” over and over in your head with no clear-cut and concise manuscript provided. Well, singer/songwriter Karen Littman attempts to tackle that very tough question and many others on her debut album titled ‘The Dream of Life: Set Yourself Free’. Littman hopes to get some answers into the mystery of life through song. This record is, in a sense, not just a learning tool and healer for Karen Littman but can also serve as a helpful, life guide for so many out there struggling to figure it all out.
Right away I pick up on the true conviction Karen is singing with as her vocals are strong, pleasant and inviting. On the opening track “Where Is Home”, you get a soft melody coming into contact with a hard rock guitar riff that is meant to be different and unexpected. The theme of the song is to desperately seek out home wherever that may be so of course it makes sense that two musical elements would crash together to make up one home. The track features thought-provoking lyrics like: “When life gets you down, turn it around and to look for the light.” Take in some sweet and tender moments on “Lost and Found of Life” but then enjoy an upbeat tempo & African groove on “Living in Another Dimension (World)”. Just as the late, great Tom Petty made “Free Fallin’” cool, Karen Littman is digging deep and gliding along on track 4, “Who Am I”, by being free-spirited. Add a little pep to your step on the catchy number called “A Little Help” and then get a powerful message delivered to you that is both loving & peaceful on “Love Comes from Within”. For all of the inquisitive folks, fill your minds with wonder & hope on “What’s It Like on the Other Side” and then travel through space & time in a dream-like state on “Living in Another Dimension (Pop)”. Get in touch with your sensitive side on “Becoming Visible” where it is delicate-sounding and then break free and escape to nature on “Time Is in My Mind”. Track 13, “Set Yourself Free”, is just that where you can sense Karen Littman spreading her wings and finding her place in this great, big world. “The Dream of Life” will have the listener dreaming his or her life away by way of an airy ‘n’ light approach. This song reminds me of a feather just continuously floating in air where the mood is set through a beautiful & tranquil tone.
I think it’s safe to say that Karen Littman has answered many questions for her own well-being and conscience on this debut album while also serving as a vehicle/outlet for others and their lives. ‘The Dream of Life: Set Yourself Free’ is good music for the mind, body & soul and incorporates impeccable vocals and masterful arrangements. As the popular group En Vogue once said “Free Your Mind and the Rest Will Follow” sums up the vision and journey perfectly.
By Jimmy Rae