- The Only Thing
- Raindrops Will Fall
- Ha Ha
- Don't Stop (Keep it Coming)
- U've Only Got 1
- Like a Child
- Good Ol' Days
- God Bless the Dreamer
The Dreamerby Tamyra Gray
The wink that Simon Cowell gave Tamyra Gray when she had to leave the first season of American Idol (prematurely, many think) clearly meant quite a bit. Even though Gray didn't win or even come in second place, she now seems to have the most interesting and diverse career of any of the American Idol contestants. Despite some label problems early on, Gray remained prominent while she made her debut album by acting on shows such as Tru Calling and Boston Public and, of course, appearing on the third season of American Idol. And, with Justin Guarini's self-titled debut album a non-starter, the forces behind the show redoubled their support behind Gray, not only featuring her on the show but also entrusting her to write "I Believe," the song that the winner of the series' third season recorded as her first single. Gray also wrote or co-wrote all of the songs but one on The Dreamer, an album that reveals Gray as more than the elegant contestant who turned out flawless, seemingly effortless performances week after week until illness brought on by American Idol's grueling schedule claimed her voice. The American Idol contestants that have had the most success in their recording careers are the ones with the most distinctive personalities: spunky, down-to-earth Kelly Clarkson and sweet, big-voiced Clay Aiken. Their albums reflected these images, but The Dreamer's mix of old-school soul, funk and singer-songwriter pop acknowledges the ambitious Gray from the show and, in its best moments, suggests a fun, funky side that wasn't always evident on American Idol. Essentially, The Dreamer is the first American Idol neo-soul album, complete with horn and string-laden arrangments and back-in-the-day references, the most charming of which is "Good Ol' Days," a shout-out to 1985 where Gray sings "Fat Albert and Prince were my two favorite things." The Dreamer works best in this upbeat, funky mode, exemplified by its first two tracks, "Star" (which sounds more soulful and immediate here than it did on American Idol and the fun, nostalgic "The Only Thing." The album's ballads, however, are less consistent. Too many of them tend to be meandering and formless, and seemingly constructed of nothing but vocal vamps. Gray's voice is lovely and powerful enough to carry off songs like "Legend" and "Raindrops Will Fall" (which also sounds better than it did on TV), but "Like a Child" -- which, despite its interesting production, isn't much of a song -- and the pretty but rambling "Yesterday/Today" tend to make the album slump. These songs tend to raise the issue of just how good a songwriter Gray actually is; her voice is so strong that she can make even the clunkiest song, like "God Bless the Dreamer" (which, to be fair, Gray didn't write), sound better than it actually is. Still, the album has enough winning moments, like the sweet, old-school love song "17"; the sassy kiss-off "Ha Ha"; and the disco-funk of "Don't Stop (Keep it Coming)" to overcome its slumps and show that Gray does have talent as a songwriter that should be nurtured by working with stronger collaborators on her next album. Even though The Dreamer doesn't quite deliver on all of its ambitions, it's still a strong debut and one of the better ones that the American Idol phenomenon has produced.
- Release Date:
- 19 Recordings Europe
Performance CreditsTamyra Gray Primary Artist,Background Vocals
Sid Page Violin
Mark James Guitar
Keith Allen Background Vocals
Guy Barker Trumpet
Louis Biancaniello Keyboards
Vernon "Ice" Black Bass,Guitar
Cheryl Brown Background Vocals
Denyse Buffum Viola
David Campbell Conductor
Chris Camozzi Guitar
Larry Corbett Celli
Joel Derouin Violin
Armen Garabedian Violin
Berj Garabedian Violin
Jessica Jones Background Vocals
Peter Kent Violin
Josefina Vergara Violin
John Wittenberg Violin
Susan Chatman Violin
Di Reed Background Vocals
Suzie Katayama Celli
Bob Peterson Violin
Sam Watters Background Vocals
Joseph Stone Oboe
Darrin McCann Viola
Luke Brighty Guitar,fender rhodes
Tyree Mills Background Vocals
Mark Jaimes Bass,Guitar
Kecia Sanders Background Vocals
Derrick Martin Keyboards
Dan Smith Celli
Yvette Mitchell Background Vocals
Derrick Joshua Bass,Guitar
Priscilla Jones-Campbell Vocals
Dameon Aranda Guitar
Michael Biancaniello Guitar
Bonita Brisco Background Vocals
Sonya Byous Background Vocals
Ron DeShay Background Vocals
Edward Eason Background Vocals
Sterlena Hithe Background Vocals
Roseland Holmes Background Vocals
J & S Singers Background Vocals
Demeka Jackson Background Vocals
Cammie Knight Background Vocals
Nicole LaBeach Background Vocals
Felicia McNair Background Vocals
Traneen Young Background Vocals
Jimmy Fisher & Contagious Praise Background Vocals
James McMillan Keyboards
Mario de León Violin
Matthew Funes Viola
Guy Baker Trumpet
Tamra Gray Background Vocals
Derek Martin Drums
Technical CreditsLouis Biancaniello Arranger,Programming,Producer,Audio Production
David Campbell Arranger,String Arrangements,Oboe Arrangement
Gil Cang Producer
Steve Churchyard Engineer
Brad Gilderman Engineer
Steve Kelly Instrumentation
Toby Smith Producer,Instrumentation
Simon Hale String Arrangements
Andy Saunders Engineer
Sam Watters Arranger,Producer,Audio Production
Ben Chapman Producer,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Derrick Martin Arranger,Programming,Producer
T. Gray Composer
Peter Murray String Arrangements
Chris Dodd Producer,Audio Production,Instrumentation
Derrick Joshua Arranger,Producer
James McMillan Programming,Producer,Audio Production,Vocal Producer
Sam Walters Audio Production
Toby Smith Audio Production
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Tamyra wow! Not only has this girl got some serious pipes, but her song writing talent is beyong her years.
For her first cd this was great! Better than anyone of the idols. She is a powerhouse! Tamyra shows her vocal range with style. Her songwriting capabilities are good and will be better with time. She has a great sense of self and her songs are not stereotypical.
Tamyra is like a young Whitney Houston.
"The Dreamer" is an amazing CD. Although I was hoping for powerhouse ballads you get a funky MoTown beat and lyrics that are fun. Tamyra did an amazing job having a hand in her music...this reflects in songs like "Faces!" Although "Like a Child" lacks the lyrics her voice and the power of the arrangement more than overcompensates. It is a great album with a beautiful voice and a striking talent!
I bought Kelly Clarkson's album and was disappointed. I listened to Clays and decided his song choice was weak. I bought Tamyra's based on her performance of "Raindrops" on AI the other week. I am blown away. It is a great CD. I think the song choice is particularly strong. I do hope this CD sells well as she is a talent that deserves recognition. She writes all but one song. I found it hard to find this CD in the shops so we need to get the word out that this is one of the best CDs from AI if not from any artist this year.
She is the best person to ever sing on the AI stage. Rock on Tamyra! =)
I've waited so long for Tamyra's debut album and am so excited it's finally here!! It's so great and really covers a variety of genres. Highly recommended!
This CD is absolutely amazing! Def. one of the best cds an Idol has put out. (besides Kelly Clarkson) If you dont alrady have this cd GO BUY IT NOW! She is a young Whitney Huston!!
The Dreamer is a very nice debute for what should be a long successful career for Tamyra Gray. Well done. It's not he best I've ever heard, but well worth owning.
tamyra makes great messages better singing them with her AMAZING voice! this album is a must have!!!!
the dreamer is an awesome cd and tamyra gray has a beautiful voice. she gives us a break from all of those depressing love songs about broken hearts and lost loves. faces, star, and the only thing are my favorites. i would recommend this to anyone who likes music, it doesn't matter what kind. the dreamer is the best way you could spend your money on a cd.
There are very few c.d.'s that have turned out good from the American Idol Series (not that I don't like American Idol, its just they often get bad songs that don't showcase thier voices) this along with Clarkson's "Thankful" and Locke's "One Love" is a GREAT C.D. that is not collecting dust on my shelf. She has a diverse taste of songs that truly showcase her wonderful voice....BUY IT!!!!
The first time I listened to this CD i thought it was alright. But after listening to it again, I realized how good the songs were. My favorites include "HA HA," "FACES," "RAINDROPS WILL FALL," "STAR," and "THE ONLY THING." The other songs are good, but I thought that these were the best. Go out and buy this CD!!!! Its worth your money!!!!!!!!!!!