Album Reviews

Haley Bonar

Impossible Dream

Artist:     Haley Bonar

Album:     Impossible Dream

Label:     Gndwire Records

Release Date:     08/05/2016


Whether she intentionally chose to borrow the title of her new album from that well known showstopper that caps “The Man of La Mancha” is only a matter of conjecture, but nevertheless, with Impossible Dream Haley Bonar has done the probable. That is, she’s taken another bold step in a career that has continued to progress steadily forward since its inception following the start of the current millennium. Bonar probes subjects common to most singer/songwriters – love, loss, regret and remorse – but rather than take a sullen stance, she illuminates her recordings with the kind of effusive sheen and ethereal aura that allows songs like “Hometown” and “I Can Change” to find common ground between Roxy Music and Kate Bush. It’s a remarkable sound, one that’s illuminated in ways that reflect both angst and insight. Driven by pervasive rhythms, be it the persistent shuffle of “Your Mom Is Right” or the insistent pace of “Kismet Kill,” the songs manage to sound moving and meditative all at the same time. That of course adds to the mystique, further suggesting that Bonar is as far from a weepy singer-songwriter as Bob Dylan is from a wannabe wordsmith.  Impossible Dream may seem challenging at times, mostly due to its arrangements and composition, but it’s also a record that suggests deeper contemplation can be both propulsive and provocative.

– Lee Zimmerman

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