A pro with precise phrasing that gets the most out of key words and images in a lyric, a master of the mini-pause, Libby York has a sound that is decidedly mellow and mature. The savvy stylist breathily highlights some words in a state that approaches or crosses the border between sung and spoken without losing the essence of the musical line. DreamLand is cozy and inviting, savvy and sophisticated. The understatedly graceful accompaniment of just guitarist Randy Napoleon and bassist Rodney Whitaker, and the subtle drumming of Keith Hall on four tracks keep things intimate and low-key. This is the fifth solo release (the first was in 1999) for the tasteful vocalist who got a late start at the game.
Sensitive material such as "Something Cool" and "When October Goes" suits her penchant for pensive material that she can take her time with, mulling over feelings. The vulnerability in the voice and the ambiance of the settings projected by Messrs Napoleon and Whitaker are impressive. On the other hand, they can be offhand and breezy, with a seemingly effortless nimble swing, zipping through Rodgers & Hart's "Mountain Greenery" and "It's Love" from Wonderful Town.
The unfussy, less-is-more M.O. throughout Libby York's DreamLand makes it the ideal choice to ease into your day and wind down with on the other end, especially with-respectively and conveniently-"Cloudy Morning" and the title-inspiring "Hit the Road to Dreamland."