Carole King released 13 studio albums between 1970 and 1983, but as the ’80s gave way to the ’90s, her time in the recording studio diminished dramatically. 1993’s Colour of Your Dreams marked only her second studio album in a decade.
She had a tough act to follow, though, as her previous album, 1989’s City Streets, was one of the better releases of her career. While Colour of Your Dreams did not match those standards – it lacked some of the excitement of its predecessor, and its songs also didn’t fit together as well – it was nevertheless an impeccably produced, polished, and mature effort. The synthesizers are still present but they no longer dominate the sound. The music has an acoustic nature to it that harkens back to King’s early solo days.
The roster of musicians was shorter than on many of her other releases, which in general is a good sign for a Carole King album. Lead guitarist Slash and drummer Danny Carey provide omnipresent guest-star appearances. Rudy Guess returned once again as co-producer, having done such a credible job on City Streets. King wrote nine of the 11 album’s tracks, with the final two being collaborative efforts with ex-husband and writing partner Gerry Goffin.
King originally wrote “Now and Forever” for the film A League Of Their Own. Adding it to this album proved a wise decision as the song, with its upbeat beauty, is one of the its superior tracks; it went on to earn a Grammy nomination .
As on her previous album, King also added a couple of rockers. “Hold Out For Love” is a nice rocking diversion from her usual style, while “Standing In The Rain” is slower yet it rocks in the same style. Some of the lyrics had more bite than on much of her previous work. “Standing In The Rain,” for instance, is a solemn song of a victim looking at life. The socially conscious “Tears Falling Down On Me” deals with the topics of rape and racism. Another outstanding track, “Friday’s Tie-Dye Night Mare” addresses certain realities of the world. Another nice addition, “Just One Thing” returned King to a confessional, singer/songwriter mode.
Colour of Your Dreams made for a confident and, at times, personal album. It’s also preachy in places. Overall it contains some very good performances and remains a nice, middling effort in her large catalogue.
Article first published as Music Review: Carole King – Colour of Your Dreams on Blogcritics.