Dreamtime album cover

Tom Verlaine

Warner Bros. Records

If the Television albums gave listeners a strong sense of Tom Verlaine the guitarist, Verlaine’s run of 1980s solo records allowed sharper focus for his songwriting and lyrics; people might still gush over Marquee Moon, but on Dreamtime we get much closer to the essence of Verlaine as an artist. Of course, his guitar playing is still a quicksilver thrill – great spiralling reels of twisted strings and amplified arcs of crying tone – but on “Penetration” and “A Future In Noise,” his writing feels more assured, with much less desire to impress for impressing’s sake. Plenty of gems here, then – but he saves the best for last, with the long, slow swoon of “Mary Marie.”

Jon Dale

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