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Looking for the sweet spot – ‘World of My Dreams’

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A double album offering from the Young Songwriters Project

PORTLAND - Post-punk virtuoso Chandra Oppenheim launched her innovative EP “Transportation” in 1980 at the age of 12. Now, Oppenheim is coming full circle and releasing a collaborative project featuring the songwriting talents of grade-school students.

The Young Songwriters Project album – titledWorld of My Dreams” - was released in a two-disc offering in July of 2017 by Rain Boots Records. The album made its debut performance at the SPACE Gallery in Portland. The CD showcases unique voices and diverse music arrangements.

“World of My Dreams” is the culmination of Oppenheim’s four-year endeavor with the Young Songwriters Project. The record is composed of young artists ranging in age from four to 14, including Oppenheim’s daughter. The double album features two versions of each song. The first disc features the members of the Young Songwriters Project singing their own songs. The second disc features a cast of professional local artists performing their own versions of the Young Songwriters Project’s songs.

There is no constant mood in the CD. Instead, Oppenheim aims to show how imaginative and meaningful songwriting is with the “World of My Dreams” collection. One song is about a child’s love for chickens while another song is about a family road trip to New York. The unique voices of the singers also suggest that every song on the album is distinctive. The difference between every track alludes to the songwriting that took place with every child, as well as to how every young artist had a special song to sing.

The collection is lyrically creative. While none of the songs share the same theme, they do all share a sense of imagination. In “Mabel,” Penelope sings, “My kitten would love to go swimming with a tuna fish and eat it.” InLiving in a Dream,” Macallister sings, “Iago, Iago, Iago which means I like ice cream.” These are only a couple of examples of the imagination illustrated in the “World of My Dreams”album. The CD is jam-packed with inventive lines.

Disc two of the “World of My Dreams” collections gives a sophisticated and mainstream version of disc one. The professional vocals of Sasha Alcott, Dan Capaldi, and Jeffery Beam offer more mature and traditional looks at the young artist’s songs. I personally preferred Kyle Gervais’s version of “It’s ok” over Liam’s version. I thought Gervais conveyed more passion in the song lyrics. This was especially notable when he howled, “I had a great time” at the closing of the song. The professional voices create a more harmonious melody, as expected. 

“World of My Dreams” offers up a collection of music created with innocence and whimsy. My personal favorite is “Living in a Dream” written by Macallister. The upbeat rhythm and colorful language of the song puts a smile on my face. This collection seems to only be the start for these young artists. It will be interesting to see where the music careers of these students might go. I look forward to seeing them play sold-out concert venues. 

(To purchase the CD, check out “World of My Dreams” by Young Songwriters Project at Rain Boots Records.)

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