The Phantom Tollbooth August 2005
by Aaron Anderson
Island Dreams is just what the title advertises. It's an album you put on,
lay in the sun and do one of two things: 1) bask in the sunlight and enjoy
your beach vacation with all of its sights, sounds and smells, or 2) wish
you were at the beach enjoying the all of its sights, sounds and smells.
This, the Dogs' eighth studio album, is a departure from their other ones.
Gone are the twangy country-rock songs. Terry Taylor's introspective lyrics
are kicked off the island. The vocal harmonizing between the three Dogs are
cast into the blue lagoon. The only surviving inhabitants are ten instrumental
island-theme tunes devoid of any vocals, save for the few donated by Christine
With song titles like "Sailing to the Cove" and "Sleepy Blue Lagoon," it is
clear what the band's intention is, namely, to make a soundtrack for summer
vacation. And boy, did that do a bang-up job of that. Christine first appears
on "Wikki Tikki" a Caribbean inspired song that is best listened to outdoors
with a nice cold margarita in hand (if you're of legal age to do so, of course).
"Kissed in the Mist" begs lovers to get up and dance with one another atop the
island sands. Terry Taylor and Derri Daughtery do a wonderful job assembling
melodies that Mike Roe masterfully enhances with his impeccable guitar playing.
I have to admit--this record is so much fun to listen to. Island Dreams is a record
that is serious about enjoying life, love and the glorious creation surrounding us.
Musically, this disc can be described as tropical relaxation (yes, I know that sounds
insane coming from this band). If you listen to this CD with the expectations of
hearing some really amazing instrumental music, then Island Dreams will not leave
your disc player for awhile, but if you are expecting your typical Lost Dogs album,
there won't be much for you to enjoy. History will show that the Dogs, in their
previous bands (Daniel Amos, The 77s, The Choir), mastered every style of music
they attempted; this is but another one to add to their repertoire.