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CD REVIEW: Reed Dickinson – Playing Games With the Sun
By Ben Ohmart - 04/22/2002 - 01:30 PM EDT

Artist: Reed Dickinson
Album: Playing Games With the Sun
CD Review: Is there a genre yet called personal growth? If not, there needs to be for items like Reed Dickinson’s 50 minutes of fame. The dozen songs he’s written and performed are pop with a hint of rock around the edges, with no one instrument dominating. He might feel like a piano and electric guitar crashing the back of ‘Happy New Year’, and then he might go in for the acoustic guitar, countrified sound of the end tune ‘The Same Man.’ Regardless of spirit or mood, Reed has a way about him. It’s difficult to pinpoint. Alas and obviously, he hasn’t sought to create a cd full of chart-toppers. The tone of the album seems to call: if I can please myself, I can please you, I’m happy with what I’ve done, now it’s your turn.

And that’s what certainly shows. Take the opening ‘I Am Not Alone’ as a good case history. You’d think he might start with one of the upper, more high intensity songs to get this party started. No. First of all, it’s not a party, it’s an introspective appraisal of just where Reed Dickinson IS in life now. And if you define that as a party, as well you could of course, then it’s His party. You wear the party hats he picks out. ‘Deep blue sky of mine / I know that I am the one / Playing games with the sun / And watching her shine.’

Then comes the more acoustically inclined ‘Same Blood That We Bleed.’ This is a pleasant melody that has a catchy vocal base to it, much like Paul McCartney might try in the middle of a late 70s album. ‘Time for me / I just need a little time for me/ No one understands what I do all day / It would take too long to explain my way.’

Music is measured in terms of distance. How close you are to it determines just how much you can get into it, often. Reed has set himself the task of assembling an eclectic fan base – one of middle of the road people who are looking at the fork in the road and trying to decide. Forget dance music or attempting to be the latest or the greatest. Reed is looking for answers, and giving mid-life explanations. Those he finds to touch, he might Really Really touch.

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