[18 April 2008]
PopMatters Contributing Editor
If the liner notes didn’t say this retro-Spector production was recently recorded, I never would have guessed it. A Georgia based singer-songwriter, Brent Cash must have been dreaming up his debut up for a waking life. It sounds so much like a lost early ‘70s AM radio orchestral pop record that, with a few added record pops and snaps, you could easily slip any track from this album this on an oldies station between Elton John and Billy Joel and no one would be the wiser. With the glint only sun bleached analog gear can provide driving piano, sweet strings, warm bass, jangly guitar, multi-tracked vocals bursting with the joy of love, the hope of a new day, and, occasionally, regret at the loss of time, every song is catchy as SARS in an airport. Just when I was wondering why nobody makes albums like the Moody Blues’ Days of Future Passed any more, How Will I Know If I’m Awake came along and opened my eyes to the sunshine. Thanks for putting the effort in, Cash.
Although, now that you mention it, I learned many a life changing notion from Richard Linklater’s essential Waking Life. One little tidbit is that one of the only things you can’t really control in lucid dreams is illumination. If you see a light switch or a lamp in a dream and try to operate either one, they will not work as in real life. Therefore, by the process of elimination, you can figure out if you’re awake by flicking the lights on and off wherever you are. From personal experience, I also find it incredibly hard to run in dreams. I always end up moving as fast as a relaxed walk, no matter how motivated I am. Give those a shot.