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September 2004

Pieces of a Dream
No Assembly Required
Heads Up

The veteran band Pieces of a Dream offers another satisfying helping of its trademark grooving R&B-jazz sound on No Assembly Required (Heads Up). The band opens the album on a fairly low-key note with the mellow "It's Go Time," and then ups the tempo on a soaring, gospel-tinged rendition of Earth Wind & Fire's "Devotion." The title of "Dyse It Up" refers to bassist David Dyson, who leads the tune with a funky bass rhythm that is set off by an equally funky sax melody. "On Her Wings" and "Summer" are both pretty piano-led ballads, the former shaded by atmospheric keyboard washes, and the latter enhanced by sparkling chime accents. "Want a Piece of This?" is a grooving urban number, all edgy hip-hop rhythms and "scratching," and the album wraps up with "Lunar Lullaby," in which keyboardist James Lloyd's solemn piano melody is enveloped in an otherworldly keyboard atmosphere.

Originally published in September 2004
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