Review: Cady Groves – Dreams

Artist: Cady Groves (Twitter)
Album: Dreams
Rating: 5/5

Oklahoma’s country sweetheart Cady Groves has captured the hearts of her fans since the release of her debut EP A Month of Sundays back in 2009. Starting out with nothing more than an acoustic guitar and her voice, she’s grown into one of the most beloved, worst-kept secrets in the US. With 3 EPs, a single featured on the Smurfs 2 soundtrack and an evolution of sound that is second to none, it’s not hard to see why she has so many fans. Back in 2010, she signed to RCA Records and it started a chain reaction of good things for her, including what would have been her debut, full-length album but she decided that it would change her and reached a mutual agreement with the label to be dropped after holding her finished album for 4 years. Now, she’s back with the lessons she’s learned and that evolution of sound continues. Somewhere between pop and country is where she fits in perfectly, giving us her country twang with incredibly catchy lyrics and masking it under radio-ready pop music that will have you off your feet in no time. Her newest EP, Dreams is the first full-blown release we’ve heard from her since 2012’s This Little Girl. This shows Cady at her best and boldest, using her struggles in the music business and life as the fuel to her musical fire. I would even go so far as to say that this has been my favorite release of hers to date!

Opening up with “Caught,” a track that I’m sure many girls can relate to. Pleading to her significant other to praise her existence, rather than hiding her and being seemingly ashamed of it. As the track progresses, she sings of how much it hurts and how she realizes that he’s not the best person in the world but that we can’t help who we’re attracted to. The track is incredibly fun-sounding and has cute lyrics but is an honest plea to those who have dealt with this issue. Cady has never been shy about wearing her heart on her sleeve for her fans and that doesn’t stop here.

The title track, “Dreams” is her reflection of who she is as a person. She states all the things she could have achieved if she would have gone after all of her dreams, all the things she could have achieved. However, she realizes that she’s fine where she’s at. She’s got a plethora of adoring fans, whom she interacts with on a daily basis via Twitter. “It don’t cost a thing, got a pocketful of dreams.” It’s her way of saying that fame and fortune aren’t everything, all she needs is her fans and her music, she’ll be just fine. It also features odes to some of her favorite things such as “Roseanne,” Netflix and ice cream.

The unattainable, “the one that got away,” “she’s out of your league.” These are phrases that can all be used to describe the theme of “Cause I Said No” in which Groves sings of how she feels a man she’s been with in the past is falling for her because she told him no. Doesn’t life always go that we want what we can’t have? Have you never felt that the word “no” makes you fall for that person even more? It could be human nature, it could be the undeniable attraction you feel toward them but it’s not a reciprocated feeling. Either way, this infectious anthem speaks about that subject. I’ve seen some describe this song as “the best song Taylor Swift never wrote” and, I suppose, that can be agreed with to a degree. However, Groves has always written her strongest songs on relationships in their many forms and this track is no exception. Try to get this song out of your head the first time you hear it, I dare you!

“Oil & Water” is one of the most beautiful songs about a failing relationship I’ve ever heard. There’s something about this track that really just sticks with you. Relationships can fall apart for many different reasons, be it difference in the individuals involved, attraction being lost after time or just simply not clicking the way they used to. “Oil & Water” is a song about a relationship that was going beautifully, the two people were imagining themselves at the altar together. They had planned their whole lives but one day, the spark was gone. Many mistakes were made, they got through extremely rough patches but in the end, it just wasn’t meant to be. This song is one of two that had me bawling the first time I heard it because it speaks of such truth in the way of life. It’s a strong that’s designed to make you feel the truth behind the phrase “don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.” The choir in this track really brings the emotion out in a new way for her, too.

“Crying Game” is a song that will likely resonate with anyone who hears it. This track shows Cady at her most vulnerable, singing about the loss of her brothers. It’s a song about the pain in loss, how you should never take life for granted but it’s all a natural part of life. You may feel pain and it may not go away but, you can always get past it with the right support system. Life is a “Crying Game” in that we’re thrown many different things that are designed to tear someone apart to show just how strong we are. It sounds cruel when you think about it but, it molds and shapes you into the person you’re meant to be in the end. Cry, bawl your eyes out, it’s natural to do so but, also realize that these things are an inevitability in life. Keep your friends close, your enemies closer and never take anything or anyone for granted. You’ll never know when those words you said will be the last you ever say to them.

The 5 tracks that make up Dreams are Cady Groves strongest works of art in years and I’m so glad to see she’s back. She dealt with a ton of personal trials to get to this point and it shows how much she’s grown over the years. She’s still the same beautiful, crazy, silly OK girl that we’ve always known but she’s blossoming into a musician of outstanding caliber and it all begins with this. Be sure to pick up your free download of Dreams below! Tweet her at @cadygroves and let her know what you think!