Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *
There are very few emotions that can top the feeling of blissful melancholy that weeps and twists through the body and the mind; anger has its place, sadness its time, happiness is always far too fleeting to be substantial, and fear is only there to control you, rise above that particular beast and courage falls into place.
Melancholy is deep, it resides perhaps in between states, between reflectively joyful and realistic downbeat, it is the medium and the gravity of all and one that arguably resides most powerfully In The Kingdom of Dreams.
For Ian Felice, to live In The Kingdom of Dreams is to ensure that life is never taken for granted, that the life on the road may have many pit-stops, tyre blowouts, cracked head gaskets to contend with, but that simple milometer will continue to wind itself on, clicking over every tenth of a mile, till eventually melancholy produces the songs you want to sit down in the lonely desert with and see them come to life amongst the spiky cactus and the wandering shadow of the moon at play.
Escape and childhood are interlocked; melancholy for all the things we could have done when we were children, masters of our destiny. Suddenly ripped from us when we become adults; those memories linger on in the back of our mind and when we hear songs that take us back to that feeling of being unconquerable, of not being ruled by other’s stupidity or government bile, that feeling bites down hard and with beautiful teeth and a smile you would die for.
In songs such as In Memoriam, Mt Despair, the gorgeous Road To America, Water Street and Ten To One, Ian Felice offers so much beauty, so much inner thought and deliberate musing, that the melancholy is powerful, all consuming and welcomed with all your heart; it becomes in many ways the mirror image of what you have experienced yourself.
A tireless album, In The Kingdom of Dreams is a magnificent debut from one of the Felice Brothers, if melancholy is a road, then this the greatest of them all, the Route 66, the entrance to realm of reality, hope and reverie.
Ian D. Hall