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Casting a musical spell

Concept for a Dream
By Jay Scott Berry

Celestial Sorcery: 1992

This review first appeared in the October 9, 1992 issue of the North County Blade-Citizen (now North County Times).

This album by renowned magician Jay Scott Berry is new age of the astral variety; chock full of grand, sweeping themes punctuated by futuristic sound effects and given exotic-sounding names like "Avalon," "White Cliffs" and "Edgewood."

And yet, even given all that, "Concept for a Dream" by Jay Scott Berry is a pretty good album.

Berry overcomes his predilection for schmaltz largely through sheer talent. He has a good ear for composition, and if he tends to overarrange his tunes, he still can't hide good songwriting. His tunes are peaceful and introspective, and repetitive, like a mantra.

Still, one's final reaction to "Concept for a Dream" might be regret at how good it could have been. Berry takes too long to work out his ideas, with more repetition than extrapolation.