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Following the release of Everything Harmony, which garnered acclaim from Questlove, Iggy Pop, Anthony Fantano, The Guardian, and countless others, The Lemon Twigs—the New York City rock band fronted by brothers Brian and Michael D’Addario—have once again captured the attention of the music listening public. Set for release less than a year after their last album, A Dream Is All We Know is a joyous affair. As the title suggests, it’s less of a sober look at the darker side of life, and more a hopeful sojourn into the realm of dreams.
Michael’s line in lead single and album opener “My Golden Years” – “In time I hope that I can show all the world the love in my mind” – serves as a statement of intent for the whole collection of songs, as the brothers race against time to create as much quality pop material as possible. On track two, The Lemon Twigs invite listeners into a bubblegum paradise with euphoric harmonies and biting clavinet (“They Don’t Know How To Fall In Place”), followed by an existential space age epic (“A Dream Is All I Know”), and, elsewhere on the album, a baroque pocket-prog tune (“Sweet Vibration”), a two-part nightmare-comedy that doesn’t let up (“Peppermint Roses”), and more.
Equipped with the songwriting chops of a lost era (somewhere between The Brill Building and 10452 Bellagio Road) the new record was carefully arranged and produced entirely analog in the brothers’ Brooklyn recording studio. Most of the tracks were constructed with the two brothers swapping instruments and layering all the parts themselves, but one exception to that rule was “In The Eyes Of The Girl,” which was co-produced by Sean Ono Lennon in his upstate New York studio.
While the album is chock full of progressive pop ideas, it closes appropriately with an ode to early rock and roll on “Rock On (Over and Over),” contextualizing the band as part of a lineage of rock and roll that’s never really stopped. For The Lemon Twigs, it took almost a decade for critics and audiences alike to present them with the major accolades they’ve earned this past year. While their initial records were appreciated for the musical proficiency they displayed, the brothers’ past few records have communicated their ideas with more clarity and emotional resonance. In other words, “It took too long to say ‘rock on.’”
1. My Golden Years
2. They Don’t Know How To Fall In Place
3. Church Bells
4. A Dream Is All I Know
5. Sweet Vibration
6. In The Eyes Of The Girl
7. If You And I Are Not Wise
8. How Can I Love Her More
9. Ember Days
10. Peppermint Roses
11. I Should’ve Known Right From The Start
12. Rock On (Over And Over)