Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Dare to Dream
Genres: Country, Pop, Christian
It's easy to take a full-brush swipe at Billy Gilman, who recorded his first album--as well as this follow-up--by the age of 12. His voice is predictably girlish, his inspirational material goes treacly, and his country-po... more »
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It's easy to take a full-brush swipe at Billy Gilman, who recorded his first album--as well as this follow-up--by the age of 12. His voice is predictably girlish, his inspirational material goes treacly, and his country-pop offerings are usually embarrassingly lame. But technically, Gilman is a fine little singer, with an easy approach and impressive control. The problem is, his producers don't know whether to present him as a child or as a knowing young adult, and in doing both, they make him look foolish. "She's My Girl," a fluffy, pop-radio confection, has him taking a hipster stance, calling the object of his affections "a 24/7 piece of heaven." Gilman finally breaks out on the big band/rockabilly number, "You Don't You Won't," which should be a lesson to his producers: find him the best songs, forget his age, and just let him sing. If that happens, he'll attract the right audience and transcend his boy-wonder image. Otherwise, enjoy this future Catskills attraction while you can. --Alanna Nash
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He Did It Again!
Richard F. Lemire | Riverside, CA USA | 05/09/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It has been one year since Billy Gilman took the music world by storm with his electrifying performance on the 2000 Academy of Country Music Awards show, followed up by the release of his million selling debut album, One Voice. Now, one year later, a more mature Billy (at age 12) proves he still has the magic with the release of Dare To Dream. This young country phenom did just that when he set out on his career, and those of us who have been treated by his talent over the past year are so happy that he did have that dream. There is one very important thing that sets Billy apart from so many of the young artists performing today....this boy really can sing!!! Now, Billy Gilman could make singing the phone book sound great, but fortunately Dare To Dream has a fine collection of a variety of types of songs, all of which Billy performs flawlessly. This album has it all: upbeat rock-a-billy tunes, doo-wop, and powerful, sensitive ballads. The highlights include the album's first single, an infectious upbeat rocker called "She's My Girl" and a wonderful tongue twisting dance number named "You Don't You Won't." If your heart isn't jumping after listening to this song, see your cardiologist. Then there are the ballads. The song that closest resembles Billy's classic "One Voice" is the extremely emotional "Elisabeth." It is a song of both sadness and hope about a girl born with a life threatening illness who has defied the odds and is still alive, though still in peril. Billy's perfect voice drives this song and its message right into your soul. One of the greatest tributes to motherhood I have ever heard is the song "The Woman In My Life." This song could easily be the national anthem for Mother's Day. Other great ballads include "My Time On Earth" and "God Is Alive And Well." The best love song is "I've Got To Make It To Summer", which will certainly make his legion of teenage girl fans swoon.Billy even gets to shift gears and perform a great little song that is totally out of character for him. Billy pulls it off perfectly with his performance of the catchy "Shamey, Shamey, Shame." I won't spoil it for you, but you've got to hear this one.Billy Gilman is an exceptional singer, a natural born entertainer, and one of the nicest people you would ever want to meet (and I [...] had that pleasure.) You cannot go wrong with the purchase of Dare To Dream. I'd go on further, but I've got to get back to listening to this album!"
KittyKins | 09/04/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I feel the editoral review above is horrid! This is a great CD!!! Some of us like the youthfulness of Billy Gilman's music and image. Why expect the kid to grow up too fast?! Anyway, this CD displays Billy's immense talent. Many of the songs will either bring a tear to your eye or a smile to your face! "God's Alive and Well" and "The Woman in My Life" are extremely well performed. If it's true (which I don't think it is) that Billy's musical career will be short lived, it will all be worth it, because of the joy he has brought to others through his music!! I'll be the first one running to the store when he comes out with a new album!"
Am I becoming a Billy Head? Maybe so.
M. West | Tehachapi, CA United States | 04/14/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"About a year ago my then eight-year old daughter kept bringing me a CD to listen to. It was Billy Gilman's "One Voice". I listened and shoved it aside. Then I noticed my wife frequently listening to it. Having a great deal of respect for my wife's opinion, I listened to the album more closely. It really was good.
Shortly after that my wife bought tickets to a Billy Gilman concert where he would be appearing with Jessica Andrews at a local county fair. The concert was fun and very upbeat, with all age-groups enjoying themselves. After the concert everyone wanted to see Jessica Andrews, but one couldn't unless one purchased a certain dollar amount of Jessica Andrews' merchandise. Unbeknownst to most of the crowd, on the other side of the rodeo grounds Billy Gilman was signing autographs. My daughter rushed over and waited in line to have Billy sign a photo. I watched from the side as child after child (mostly young girls with their mothers) visited with Billy. Billy was the perfect gentleman, spending as much time with them as any fan wanted. After signing my daughter's photo of him, he hugged my daughter in a moment so tender that a lump formed in my throat. Now, this kid was number one in my book.
We purchased "Dare to Dream" and over the last few days I've given it some close listenings. Being a musician myself, I am impressed with not only Billy's voice, but also with the high production values in his albums; the orchestrations and instrumentations in both albums are complex and sophisticated. The choice of songs, which can be described as country pop, cover a wide range. Many, by necessity, are geared towards youngsters, but there are a few that transcend any generation gap and should have univeral appeal. (I have learned the song "My Time On Earth" on his "Dare to Dream" CD. The song is particularily poignant and I find myself easily relating to it as I am middle-aged.)
Many will say that Billy's singing voice sounds like a woman's, and that may very well be taken as a compliment. After all, a woman's voice is a mature voice. Critics who say he sounds girlish have a unsophisticated ears. Billy Gilman has a boy's voice. It is a very pleasant but powerful voice with astounding control. His phrasing is nearly flawless, though occasionally he tends to yell. (He describes himself as a belter.) I look forward to his next album. It will be interesting to hear a changed voice.
Any parent who has a child who idolizes Billy Gilman should count their blessings."