Mimi Novic & David Courtney – Dream House: The Journey – Album Review
Listen to this will ya? Mimi instantly starts up “Welcome To Dream House” right away, vividly painting pictures in your mind with her hypnotic & mesmerizing spoken-word vocals hushed in a spectacular whisper. Instantly setting the tone for the way this inspirational record will play on, “Welcome To Dream House” literally does work in ways similar to hypnosis – it’s not hyperbole, it’s happening – just listen. Well…don’t just listen, follow along with her voice as well…open your mind, and let her soul soothing sound guide you to your own dream house to take you for a full tour. The attention to detail in her words is immaculate…and surrounded by the masterfully subtle & sparkling music created by David Courtney, Novic provides the journey clearly & precisely as we listen, while still providing us our own opportunity to fill the spaces in between with the details of our own dreams. I’ll admit – all this is a bit outside of my regular wheelhouse when it comes to music, but not so far removed as you might think – spoken-word records have always been my jam, there’s just a whole lot less of’em out there in the world. Mimi Novic seems to be doing her level best to help rectify that…not only has this record come out with a similarly spectacular level of quality in comparison to the last one I heard in reviewing Seven Prayers Of Love, but it confirms she’s truly onto something special with a high degree of appeal not all that often achieved when it comes to the genre she’s in. The facts are the facts though – she understands what it takes when it comes time to perform, and she’s got the material to back it all up; it makes for a stunning combination, and you’ll hear the verbal magic in her craft straight away on “Welcome To Dream House” – you couldn’t miss it. That’s what seems to still resonate with me the most after my first experience with her last record…Mimi really understands this as an art-form, and masterfully brings her professional touch to the microphone in a sincere effort to make these words genuinely come alive when we listen, and she succeeds in doing this time after time, track after track. Also making smart choices one again like she had with Edmond Fokker’s assistance on Seven Prayers Of Love – for this album, she’s working with another award-winning artist, enlisting the A-level talents of Courtney, who you’ll find has expertly designed many beautiful ideas to enhance this whole experience.
For example, have a listen to the stunning degree of melody & emotion he composes with in how he scores “Garden Of Truth” and gives the music such a variety of sound to spark our interest even further as Mimi tells us a tale to inspire. She even uses effects at points throughout this song…I’m not sure if I had missed that on the last record or not, that sounded like a new choice to me that she’s made on this record. If I’m being entirely honest, I like how it plays a role; but by that same token, it’s hard to ever argue some kind of desire to leave the incredible tone & texture of her own natural vocal sound. “Open your eyes, open your heart” – that’s sage advice right there, as Mimi will express in the details of her words as she guides you through this ten plus-minute track. She’s so remarkably capable of creating truly soothing atmospheres to listen to through the way she performs with such confidence & precision – she knows her material so incredibly well that there’s never a solitary syllable out of place or that could have somehow come out better. Again, this ain’t hyperbole folks, these are facts. You’ll listen to a track like “Garden Of Truth” and hear her beautiful words of acceptance, self-love, awareness, and how we connect to both the world around us, and the worlds beyond. It all pairs exceptionally well with the creativity that David puts into the music, which for as subtle as it may seem, ends up changing and fluctuating along the distance so much more than you might ever even realize on your first couple spins. That being said, Mimi seems to have found fantastic ways of making spoken-word with wildly repeatable value to it – and there’s no question that she’s done so once again here in tandem with Courtney. The more you tour through this record, the more you’ll find you get out of both the music and the words, and that’s a genuine accomplishment when it comes to the art of spoken word; we’re all so accustomed to hearing a story, feeling like we know it, and moving on quickly – but it’s the immaculately smooth, sleek, and ever-creative design achieved through what David & Mimi are doing that’s bound to having us all coming back for multiple helpings. As I said the last time around in reviewing Mimi’s Seven Prayers Of Love, the same is completely true here once again on Dream House: The Journey – you feel refreshed just by listening to records like this, all the way from the inside of your soul, to your outward aura, 100%.
With her calming presence and positive reinforcement, Mimi takes us into the “Forest Of Fear.” This cut immediately caught my eye in the set-list, and delivered on what I’d hoped I’d find – this is Mimi assisting us in confronting our fears. Her words are so key…I highly encourage you to listen to’em, dissect’em, and figure out how they apply to your own life as you experience them – they’re so much better than anything I could write in support, no matter how much I like what I’m hearing. But you’ll notice key things like how she phrases ‘what we think we’re afraid of’ rather, than that concept itself being a certain truth – as in, it’s very much about our perception as well. Just because we think a certain way about something, even something that makes us afraid, that doesn’t make it larger than we are, or what we can achieve with our mind in combatting our fears. David Courtney’s music is so brilliantly understated and complementary at the same time…he’ll bring up the levels when the moment calls for it, but he also dials it back expertly to let the words be the focus. Mimi’s consistent cadence is endlessly soothing…and it’s completely because of that, that when she guides you into the “Forest Of Fear,” she’s able to help reset broken or frayed brainwaves, just by listening to the wisdom in her words. Fearlessly, she helps assist us in not only confronting fear, but understanding it, and ultimately accepting it as well. She teaches us to let it in, and reminds us that the power is inside of us all when it comes to dealing with fear, while also reminding us how essential this part of our experience as humans genuinely plays a role. Think of it like making sure you feed yourself a complete diet to make sure you get all your vitamins – the principle here is much the same – and like it or not at first, fear is indeed, one of those essential vitamins that we need to in order to feel whole. Above all things perhaps, Mimi reminds us that staying true to ourselves is always key – and that it’s often when we lose sight of that, that things tend to go awry. There’s mystery here, there’s suspense, there’s verbal intensity, and also the strength of conviction – Mimi speaks so confidently & passionately; what she relates, is what she knows to be true. That being said, it’s like she’s studied the secrets of the universe and knows us all inside & out when it comes to what makes us tick as human beings – but it’s also thanks to the extraordinary connection she has to the things unseen in this world, that she is able to dispense her wisdom to such incredible effect while also have us hanging onto her every word, believing in every syllable she speaks, because we know as listeners through her tone of voice and remarkable ability to communicate to us, that she does too.
Musically, I felt like “Land Of Broken Dreams” really got to a lot of the best from David’s contributions to this record – there’s such an impressive warmth to be found here in what he does, and he continually shows us the art of the reveal through the most subtle of means. The man makes no mistakes when it comes right down to it, and he’s found exceptional ways of complementing what Mimi does through a variety of different sounds. He seems to instinctively know right when to let the music have a bit more presence in volume or tangible melody to it, and he’s absolutely gifted when it comes to his ability to transition & morph the sound of what we hear in ways that are perfectly natural alongside Novic’s words. There’s some radiant background vocals in the mix here too that show up right when this track is about to get even warmer & more inviting…and soon enough, Mimi will take you away from the “Land Of Broken Dreams” and send us straight into spiritualized terrain that’s much more abstract, but so very vividly real at the same time if you’re listening close. Listen to that guitar around the 5:45 mark will ya? What an absolutely astounding, complementary, and highly sincere sound! I felt like a lot of people out there would really dig on “Land Of Broken Dreams” – this is the kind of versatile cut that has the ability to potentially draw in listeners from all over the place. It would be impossible to examine these songs in a similar sense to how you would a typical single of any kind in other genres – but in that same sense, it also gives Mimi the freedom to choose what moments on an album like this would have the best chance to pull more people in to listen & enjoy. “Land Of Broken Dreams” and its inspiring messages of self-love, enriching your soul, and feeling who you really are outside of the body as a celestial being – Mimi takes us right out of our world and into the blissful beyond here, with music that gorgeously echoes the achievement. It’s quite the mesmerizing gem when it comes right down to it…fascinating all-around…and likely one of the cuts that you could point to with the most accessible degree to its overall appeal. Even people that are unsure about spoken-word & whether or not it will move them would undoubtedly love what they’ll find upon “Land Of Broken Dreams” – there’s just as much wisdom as there is melody, sincerity, and heart.
While there is always a different theme of sorts to guide each individual track on Dream House: The Journey, the cohesive thread that consistently bonds this entire experience together as one, is YOU. You’re the real key. Mimi’s doing what she does so well, and David Courtney is too – but now that they’ve done their part and recorded this, the focus shifts immediately to you, your mental & spiritual health, your relationship with love itself, and sensory vibes designed to heal you in multiple ways. “Valley Of Voices” takes you straight to the journey of your own heart, and reminds you that you’re always loved and accepted, right there at the very core of your being. It’s a reminder that it’s so important to listen to yourself, acknowledge your feelings, and accept how this plays a role in our inner peace. Soon enough, Mimi and David will once again lift you right off the ground as you listen – this time, you’re flying…leaving the weight of what doesn’t matter and cannot accept far down below, as you detach from turmoil and find your way into the bliss of awareness. There’s no doubt it’s all highly philosophical and incredibly spiritual stuff – but what I love about Mimi and what she does, is that it never, ever feels preachy in any way; you feel the way she speaks her words, and it’s insightfully natural, all of the time. She understands the gift she has and the role she plays in our lives; as an inspirational best-selling author & motivational speaker – you know she puts her talent to use, each and every day. When you listen to tracks like “Valley Of Voices” and the clever combination of soothing atmospheres in the music, delicate delivery, and strong words that are woven together, you really can’t help but stand back and marvel at the results you’ll find…music is such an effective form of communication, and Mimi’s voice is such an identifiable force for positive mindsets, that she’s able to genuinely help a massive amount of folks out there that would be listening, simply by offering an audible solution that most of her peers and others are not, and then taking it so much further by adding as much of her own genuine interest & passion to it as she can – it makes the entire experience of listening to her words vivid & real.
“Call Of The Soul” finishes this six-part journey that Mimi Novic and David Courtney released officially last year, and is also the lengthiest of the tracks upon it, clocking in at just under fifteen full minutes or so. Not that you really even notice space & time while you’re listening to the meditative trance of Mimi’s hypnotic words & voice. With a hint of magic, melody, and majestic triumph, “Call Of The Soul” plays like the celebratory finale you deserve after taking in all these insightful details & this verifiable soul-soothing session. Through high doses of light & love, Mimi’s final tale on “Call Of The Soul” is like our audible graduation…like we’ve leveled-up after all that we’ve experienced throughout this record. She’s endearing, charming, inviting, and wonderfully peaceful as she speaks, once again guiding us to a plane of existence that is always around us and available, yet rarely acknowledged by the mainstream. Novic takes us into the stratosphere & deep beneath the oceans as well, once again drawing the vivid connection between us, and all things. This whole record is based largely around our enlightenment and realizing our potential, while also finding impressive ways to relate how everything is connected in some way, shape or form from intangibles like our thoughts, feelings, and emotions, to concrete concepts like love, empathy, fear, and the divine. She’s done a spectacular job with the imagery in her words, the wisdom in her philosophy, and her powerfully engaging way of expressing her inspiring insights to us – and her calming presence has continually led us along with a stoic hand of assurance & comfort. In this final song, Mimi reminds us how eternal we truly are – both through the words directly, and through her tone of voice as always – like I’ve been tellin’ ya from day one since I started listening to Novic, she’s got an uncanny way of speaking that makes it all sound so sure…like she’s uncovered the secrets of the universe itself, and is more than willing to share it all with us through her wonderfully hushed whispers. I love that they also gave the ambient sound that bookends this track a solid length at the end as well, which provides the perfect cherry on top to let us drift into our minds and absorb all that we just heard.
Find out more about Mimi Novic from her official pages below!
Find out more about David Courtney at his official pages below!
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