13 Nov 2019

Remember Me? | Join | Recover
Click here to sign in via social networking

Derek Browne - Album Review: Dreaming House

16 Jul 2019 // A review by Jason Peters

Derek Browne - the talented singer and songwriter for dDub, a roots n rock brass infused collective that dominated festivals and airwaves in previous years with successful tunes Hesitate No, Quicksand and Medicine Man, now presents us with his latest and sadly final solo album called Dreaming House.

Derek was tragically diagnosed with terminal cancer in 2018 and was told he had a matter of months to live; devastating news but through pure grit, determination and his unwavering love for music Derek set about recording what would be his departing album.

We are gifted with eight songs that are a raw, honest and poignant. These stories come from of a man not only contemplating the end of his life but also celebrating the gratitude of the time he had on this planet that he so very loved. The bittersweet position of saying goodbye to his fans, friends and loved ones with these songs must have weighed heavily on Derek, but much like how David Bowie would have known, who also recorded and then post humorously released his final album Blackstar, it is that time and your health that is indeed a precious gift.

Derek said in his final television interview that life is short and if you have a creative bone in your body don’t ever put things off for another day because that day may not be there tomorrow, and when you are facing the stark reality of that final destination everything gets stripped back to its simplest and rawest form. Derek has done the very same with Dreaming House.

Derek's songs are stripped back to his voice and acoustic guitar on this album and this forces the listener to focus on the vocals and the accompanied acoustic melodies without any other distractions. The first song Close To Me with the lyric “Sweet believer in the ocean and sea, come to me just one more time” is a catchy breezy tune and a great album opener. Snow Trail Woman is a country folk tinged number reminiscent of Bob Dylan and could easily be a parting love letter to Derek's love of nature and also his beloved wife Veronica, with the lyrics “Oh I love you, can you know, child of the mountains would you let me go.”

The title track Dreaming House is a lilting bluesy track - it showcases Derek's knack for crafting simple yet clever melodies, especially throughout the chorus, this tune is all class. Hearts On Fire picks up the pace and has an early Bruce Springsteen vibe to it, a story of two lovers that can’t sleep at night because of the sacred bond of love they hold for each other. Another stand out track is Joker On A Broken Stool with its upbeat groove and great lyrics such as “I can see you on the out takes, not a credit to your name, sleeping on the set until the crowd breaks past like a stampede silent in the pouring rain.”

Everyone Has To Go closes out Dreaming House on a sad but beautiful note. The fact is that we all must face our own mortality in the end, Everyone Has To Go is a fragile ballad that speaks volumes even as floats away into the distance.

Whilst Dreaming House is without a doubt Derek’s final ode to life and everything that was special in his, it also reminds us to never take anything in this short life for granted, the message is to go for gold and get out there and lap up everything that life has to offer while you can. Derek was a fun, kind and generous man who will be terribly missed but also cherished and celebrated for sharing his talents with us, and that love will be forever immortalised in his wonderful music.

Rating: ( 5 / 5 )

Other Reviews By Jason Peters

Pale Lady - EP Review: My New Maze
01 Nov 2019 // by Jason Peters
Young Wellington 4-piece Pale Lady, winners of the 2017 National Battle Of The Bands, hit us with their latest EP called My New Maze. And 6 tracks of rollicking rock n roll ensue.
EP Review: Radio Therapy
31 Oct 2019 // by Jason Peters
If Pat Benatar and the Foo Fighters had a child it would be called Radio Therapy, that's my first impression of the first couple of tracks on Radio Therapy's second self-titled EP and that's a good thing in my books. Singer Renee Leishman is somewhat of a New Plymouth Rock legend having performed with bands Demon Dolls and 1080 in the past and her vocals in this release are crisp and full of melody, she also helps out the rhythm section by playing bass guitar too, which is impressive.
Gig Review: Coridian @ Anthology, Auckland - 20/09/2019
27 Sep 2019 // by Jason Peters
I'd heard about Anthology as a new venue a couple of months back, and any new venues in Auckland that local artists can play after the demise of the legendary Kings Arms are always welcome. My buddy and I were greeted at the door by two friendly bearded characters that turned out to be the drummer and guitarist of the headline act.
L.A.B. - Single Review: Personify
17 Sep 2019 // by Jason Peters
Pale Lady - Single Review: Never Gonna Be This Way Again
27 Aug 2019 // by Jason Peters
Winners of the 2017 National Battle Of The Bands Pale Lady hit us with their latest creation called Never Gonna Be This Way Again. I can see why they won that competition because these young fellas know how to craft a tune and they're all kick ass at their chosen instruments.
Quinn The Human - Album Review: Shade Queen
26 Jul 2019 // by Jason Peters
Following on from their EP Mission Helsinki released in 2018, Quinn The Human release their first full length album Shade Queen and it doesn’t disappoint. A heady mixture of alternative and dessert rock with sprinkles of trademark Quinn humour and some sweet vocal harmonies to boot.
Troy Kingi - Album Review: Holy Colony Burning Acres
23 Jul 2019 // by Jason Peters
The third instalment of Troy Kingi’s 10/10/10 challenge has arrived (ten albums in ten genres over ten years) Holy Colony Burning Acres delves into the dark corners of worldly indigenous issues and politics, following in the footsteps of NZ’s politically charged Herbs and infused with empathetic Marley inspired consciousness. Troy has not only drawn upon issues that affect Maori in his homeland but broadened the narrative palette to include stories and challenges from his indigenous friends globally as well.
Pluto - Single/Video review: Oh My Lonely
09 Jul 2019 // by Jason Peters
Just when you thought this band were dead and buried, Pluto once again rise from the ashes and hit us with another sweet slice of Kiwi indie alt rock. These guys had two very successful singles from 2005’s album Pipeline Under The Ocean; Long White Cross and Dance Stamina and it’s great to hear almost 15 years later they still haven’t lost their knack for crafting cool pop sonic tunes that retain a groove.
View All Articles By Jason Peters

NZ Top 10 Singles

    Tones And I
    Arizona Zervas
    Post Malone
    Maroon 5
    DRAX Project feat. Six60
    Selena Gomez
    Dua Lipa
    Travis Scott
    Lizzo feat. Ariana Grande
View the Full NZ Top 40...
muzic.net.nz Logo
100% New Zealand Music
All content on this website is copyright to muzic.net.nz and other respective rights holders. Redistribution of any material presented here without permission is prohibited.
Report a ProblemReport A Problem