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 9, 2011
    The Dreamer is a fitting--if not perfect--bookend to one of American popular music's most iconic lives.
  2. 70
    On The Dreamer, James includes some unlikely song choices, and most of them work.
  3. Nov 16, 2011
    The production might be slick, but James relaxes into this framework, providing the necessary lived-in looseness.
  4. 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.
  5. The physical and even mental diminution enriches the music.
  6. 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.
  7. 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]
  8. 80
    As a swansong, it's as fine as might be expected given the circumstances.
  9. James's voice is slightly diminished but not so as to sound like anything other than itself. She's the real deal.
  10. Nov 11, 2011
    The Dreamer is occasionally powerful and moving as James ranges across memorable songs including Otis Redding's Champagne & Wine.
  11. Uncut
    Dec 12, 2011
    A supremely sassy swansong. [Jan 2012, p.90]

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