The Take That star returns with a brand new album which is filled with optimism and variety to make for fun listening.

Following on from 2013’s The Art of Doing Nothing, Mark Owen is back with an album that is bright, optimistic and filled with diverse style that makes it an enjoyable listen – even if on occasion some of the styles in places can feel a touch bland.

Getting off to a bright and bold start with album opener ‘Super Power’, it is difficult not to be swept away by the sense of playfulness and adventure that threads all the way through the album, taking the listener in unexpected directions. Whether it is the undertones of rock on ‘Rio’ or the quirky appeal of ‘Are You Looking For Billy?’, if there is one thing that album proves – Mark Owen is not someone who is afraid to experiment and it does pay off as a whole, as Land of Dreams is truly a confident sounding album.

There are plenty of gems to be found musically – whether it is the touching earnestness and sincerity of the soulful ‘Being Human’ that showcases a completely different side to the singer’s voice or the gently teasing ‘You Only Want Me’ there is a satisfying range of combination of songs on the album to keep the listener thoroughly engaged. Yes of course, it would be fair to say that some songs (for me) feel a little bit weaker such as ‘Last of the Heroes’ or ‘World’ which don’t have the same electricity or vibrancy of songs such as ‘Come Back’ or ‘Magic’ in terms of style.

The overall vibe of the album is a little bit quirky and so might not be to everyone’s taste, but in my mind it is stronger for it – this is an album made for the love of music as opposed to just creating an album for the sake of it. Each track has its very own distinctive personality such as ‘Are You Looking For Billy?’ and ‘Boy’ – both are just two examples of how the album has a great mixture of songs that have been structured into the album perfectly.

Overall, this is a playful, quirky and dynamic album that has a lot to offer. Mark Owen’s vocals are really given the opportunity to shine in many different ways – proving him to be a very versatile singer who deserves more recognition.

By Emma Clarendon

Land of Dreams is available to buy and download now.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐


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