The Dreamer

  • Record Label: Verve
  • Release Date: Nov 8, 2011

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
Buy On
  1. Nov 16, 2011
    The production might be slick, but James relaxes into this framework, providing the necessary lived-in looseness.
  2. The physical and even mental diminution enriches the music.
  3. James's voice is slightly diminished but not so as to sound like anything other than itself. She's the real deal.
  4. 80
    As a swansong, it's as fine as might be expected given the circumstances.
  5. Nov 11, 2011
    The Dreamer is occasionally powerful and moving as James ranges across memorable songs including Otis Redding's Champagne & Wine.
  6. 83
    Snarling through covers as far-flung as "Welcome to the Jungle" and Little Big Town's "Boondocks," James brings some welcome grit to the retirement-album game.
  7. 75
    We get a career-twilight portrait of James and her darker-than-ever voice in a set of moody, bluesy and slow-jam groove numbers.
  8. 70
    On The Dreamer, James includes some unlikely song choices, and most of them work.
  9. Nov 9, 2011
    The Dreamer is a fitting--if not perfect--bookend to one of American popular music's most iconic lives.
  10. Mojo
    Jan 31, 2012
    James' final studio album is a sturdy effort that belies the catalog of increasingly serious health issues that have dogged her. [Feb 2012, p.102]
  11. Uncut
    Dec 12, 2011
    A supremely sassy swansong. [Jan 2012, p.90]

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