Ryan Reddy’s Dream Life is finally available for streaming and downloading, and it’s every bit as colourful and dreamlike as the title and artwork imply.
Dream Life drives with a blissfully ambient soundscape and Devonte’s gentle, near-whispered vocal delivery for the most part. There’s a smoothness to the verses that helps create a calming, trip-hop-like aura in the beginning – this soon evolves into more of an RnB vibe as the hook comes into play. The song brightens up for the chorus, the energy rises higher, the vocals intensify and the beat hits; everything seems to switch gears to really sweep the listener away for a moment. Even the lyrics resolve in a poetic and inspiring manner, welcoming the audience into the process – to share in this optimism and this overwhelming sense of possibility.
The second time you hear this, those those lightly uplifting synths have a rightful familiarity about them, as does that vocal style and the simple few notes that make up the verse lines. There’s a fine balance between that which is contemporary and effective right now in the mainstream, and that which is creatively alternative – that which follows its own rules.
What you take away from this song is a powerful feeling of well being and confidence. It’s calming, the music and the lyrics work well together to present this. At the same time, there’s enough detail and story-telling, enough truth from all angles, to make it a genuine outpouring from an individual who ponders the world regardless of his audience. The whole thing isn’t overly hopeful or fake in its portrayal of life, but it makes sure to fix any uncertainty when that hook section hits. Everything from the performance to the production works beautifully. A refreshing new song, confident and catchy in a subtle, smooth way.