From Dreams to Dust by The Felice Brothers [9/10]

I always knew The Felice Brothers as a lurching country-rock band with anthemic choruses and chaotic music, brilliant but untutored. Well, more recently they have changed, maturing without losing their power. Their eighth album, “From Dreams to Dust” was recorded in a church and has an expansive sound and eclectic tunesmithing from the two brothers. Ian Felice’s lyrics are superb, sometimes spooling characters’ thoughts in a tale, sometimes rambling, clever poems. The band’s emphasis on ear-candy choruses remains unchanged and my recent days have involved singing nifty lines in the shower, on the street. My one Felice Brothers concert was memorable and the thought of seeing From Dreams to Dust writ large on a stage give me goosebumps. None of the dozen tracks is less than superb, so choosing highlights was tough, but check out “Jazz on the Autobahn,” a triumphant mix of rhythm, talking vocals backed by doo-wop, and rousing chorus; the transcendent, reflective “Be at Rest”; and the Dylanesque spoken-word masterpiece of “We Shall Live Again,” including some of the zingiest rhymes I’ve ever heard. In short, From Dreams to Dust is the band’s best yet and, in a perfect world, would rule the airwaves.

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