Mar 012024
talia keys sweet dreams

Salt Lake City’s countercultural icon Talia Keys is taking a short break from producing their own material to mark the achievements of those that have gone before. The first of three planned releases is their version of “Sweet Dreams” from Eurythmics.

We all know that one person’s dreams can be another’s nightmare. Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart couched the message in a strident, but comforting, backbeat. A synth overlay provided polish. Lennox wanted the tone dark, but allowed for the possibility that you can have legitimate aspirations. As befits a number one record on both sides of the Atlantic, there have been many covers, as well as integration of the music into dark-themed movies. Loss of that darkness can lead to less successful versions, but integration with other strident tunes can lead to a new, powerful combination.

There is no concern that Keys will miss the darkness, nor the delivery from a proud androgynous singer like Lennox. The dark desires that some have for the world and country that Keys lives in are enough to trigger danger signals. In a world of social media, clickbait trolling leads some “to be abused” by reasonable people. They then feel empowered to abuse in response, dialing up an even greater level of frenzy. Keys brings all of that to bear in an unsparing version. There is no comforting overlay, their guitar is discordant, and the words are not smoothly delivered. Audio engineer Ryan Conger weaves all the moving parts into an unsettling soundscape. Nevertheless, there is hope in the wreckage. The arc will bend towards justice.

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