Dream - Single (2023)
Review By Catherine Lewis
December 28, 2023
This cover of Imagine Dragons's Dream from the Bare Naked Statues doesn't stray too far from the original. But it does so with impeccable dynamics, crescendoing into fireworks or pulling back to a whisper, all spearheaded by soloist Gerard Pena, whose voice is perfect for this song. Pena leads the group along John Holland's solid arrangement, which builds and grows, then recedes, then grows again, all seemingly effortlessly. Harmonies on the lead are placed strategically — they join in on the highs and fade out on the lows; it's a smart arrangement choice that uses the score to create quiets and louds, not just the singers' volumes. All this makes it all the more striking when Pena's voice stands alone; it's easy in those moments to feel that they carry the song, but the supporting voices and arrangement deserve just as much credit for the strength of this performance.
I had lost track of BNS after 2015's Exposed, which I loved and which left quite an impression on me. Dream is a lovely re-introduction to the group; it's beautifully-sung, impeccably recorded, and just sounds good. It's always nice to catch back up to what a group sounds like after so many years, and Dream seems to show that the Bare Naked Statues haven't lost any of their edge in nearly a decade(!). Hopefully the group follows up this excellent single with a full-length album release soon.