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Jodi Phillis | In Dreams I Live (Candle)
Despite featuring cameos from her fellow Dearhunters, In Dreams I Live is an altogether different record to last year's Red, Wine and Blue. After 10 years of garnering acclaim in such Australian legends as The Clouds, this is Jodi's first solo outing, and the freedom is apparent from the outset. Her voice is layered expertly to harmonise behind her lead and is way up in the very bright mix. She handles the majority of the guitar parts and utilises the combined talents of bandmates Tim Oxley (who provides vocals on The First Time) and Raph Whittingham (drums) sparingly. Whilst there can be no doubting the beauty of her voice and sense of melody, In Dreams I Live suffers from a hit and miss approach to arrangement and production that undermines much of the material here. Come Over Sunday sets an intimately, relaxed lyric ?? "You can hang around at my house / We'll talk about the band / We're gonna get together / 'Cos I got nothin' else to do, do you?" ?? against a sterile electronic background and heavy-handed string arrangement, while the cod-ska rhythm of Arrendlezgye is surpassed in tastelessness only by it's processed 'snare solo' ?? fun in the studio no doubt, but someone really should have said something before it saw the light of day. Anyone introduced to Phillis via the floating pop/country hybrid of The Dearhunters won't be surprised to find For The First Time, which reunites her with two of her three fellow 'hunters, the prettiest and warmest track of the bunch. A sad tale of break-up that pulls no punches ("You know how to make me laugh / But I don't like the people we turn into / When we're both bound to one path"), it follows another stripped-down gem, Leaves, possibly the first ballad to include the word 'compost.' With a voice to inspire the tingling of spines, and a gift for penning a memorable melody, a truly 'solo' record from Jodi Phillis would be something to treasure. In Dreams I Live sparkles intermittently, a few diamonds among the rough. And don't get me started on the sleeve 'art.'

Matt Dornan
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001