The Dream Weaver
The junk heap in the mid-'70s was piled high with singer/songwriters who either never had the chops to sell many albums or were just victims of bad timing. Not this ex–Spooky Tooth man and pal to George Harrison. (Wright played on the ex-Beatle's All Things Must Pass and Living in the Material World.) For one thing, Dream Weaver is an early example of synths in rock music; it’s hard to imagine in the years before computers were common, but this album is all keyboards and drums (featuring great drummers Andy Newmark and Jim Keltner), except for Ronnie Montrose’s lone guitar on “Power of Love.” Wright wrenches surprising warmth from the instrumentation, and his lucid tenor doesn’t hurt things. From spare pop (the hit “Love Is Alive”) to spindly funk (“Let It Out”) to a haunting suburban love anthem (the international smash “Dream Weaver,” which Wright wrote, funnily enough, on an acoustic guitar) to a rocking wink to escapism (“Much Higher”), this album is exceptionally forward-gazing for the era, yet handily driven on classic singer/songwriter motifs.