Album Review

Cindy Bullens - Dream #29

Cindy Bullens - Dream #29

As another rocker who has grown up and managed to incorporate adult concerns into her work without sacrificing the passion and energy of youth, Cindy Bullens deserves to be mentioned alongside such peers as Bruce Springsteen, John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt and Steve Earle. That she remains underrated, and in some quarters unknown, is not the fault of her talent or material, but rather an off-and-on career beset by poor label support, years spent raising a family, and the tragic loss of her daughter to cancer (chronicled on her heartrending 1999 album Somewhere Between Heaven And Earth, ironically her comeback effort). Dream #29 has its share of heartbreak too, as on "Paper And Glass", with the narrator seeking the perfect frame for a photo of a lost loved one, and "Mockingbird Hill", in which the trappings of a comfortable home belie the pain suffered under its roof. Those songs are tempered by the life affirming-rocker "Box Of Broken Hearts" and the pounding title track, which features a rollicking piano part played by Elton John (Bullens sang backup for him in the '70s). Delbert McClinton appears as well, singing with Bullens on the barroom-ready "This Ain't Love". And that voice you hear capably singing harmonies on "7 Days" belongs to Boston Red Sox knuckleballer Tim Wakefield. Talk about a glory hog. Wasn't this past year rewarding enough for him? Maybe some of Wakefield's magic will rub off on Bullens. She deserves a championship ring, or the music business equivalent. -- DANIEL DURCHHOLZ