It's obvious that Sparklehorse has a deep admiration for The Beatles. What Sparklehorse doesn't show on Dreamt... is an understanding of the spirit that made The Beatles a great band.
At their best, The Beatles swallowed everything under the musical sun and spit out an eclectic batch of songs that demolished then rebuilt the boundaries of rock. At Mark Linkous' best (Linkous is the heart and soul of Sparklehorse), he writes songs with pretty chord progressions and emotional vocals. It's very good background music that does absolutely nothing to even question the boundaries of rock music, let alone redefine them.
This is an album that I wouldn't mind owning. I'd keep it on my shelf, and I'd happily listen to it if someone else asked, but I would never play it on my own. There's nothing wrong with Dreamt..., but there's nothing particularly right about it, either.
Different songs have struck me at different times, depending on my mood and the time of day. Whenever I went back to listen to a song more closely, however, I was always disappointed. The problem isn't that the songs are subtle; the biggest flaw is that they're just kind of boring.
The artwork is interesting, but they skimped on the jacket. While it's easy enough to understand the words, the lyrics seem to be an integral part and should've been included. Also, a few more pages of artwork wouldn't have hurt.
Listen if you like: Dreamt... makes so little of an impact on me, that I'm not certain what bands to compare it to. Maybe other acclaimed bands who I'm supposed to love but leave me cold, like Gomez and Grandaddy?
If it were food, it'd be: A salad with iceberg lettuce and grape tomatoes. A tender piece of tasteless meat. Jarred spaghetti sauce. It's all good, but none of it is memorable or worth going out of your way for.