New wrinkles – the most dancefloor-oriented number (“Hide”) not only has slight touches of chicken-scratch rhythm-guitar but, momentarily, a ska backbeat! It’s not as “commercial” as “Until the Day” which, in every detail, sounds like it could have come from Bel Canto circa 1994-8.
Long time no hear – three songs sort-of have trip-hop beats. “The Magic of Dreams” in particular could be left over from “Silver Drops” – not only musically, it even reprises the “catch catch” motif!
Reconnecting with strengths – some well-placed feedback eruptions, and some dissonance (actually just jazzy chromaticism)
Lyrics – they’re still dealing in images of transcendence and transformation, but where the last two albums were full of characters who seemed to be withdrawing from physical existence (whether painfully or painlessly) – and doing so in places-of-worship, as often as not – here they’ve returned to the more benign transcendental imagery of the “Silver Drops” era. (More underwater imagery, and so much “dreaming” you might mistake them for Baptist ministers or German philosophers!). Of course it’s foolish to pay too much attention to B.o.L lyrics- when the usual problems of broken English and “unfortunate turns of phrase” remain intact. (Again refer to “Stolen Dreams”).
And then this
And to put it in context, here’s one of their old “hits”, for an encore