No Assembly Required
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.