Monday, 20 November 2017

Olivia Penalva | 'Dream You Home' Single Review by Randy Wayne Belt

I'll admit I love the Hallmark Christmas movies.  There's something about that time of year that makes even the mediocre movies seem good or magical.  But the best ones always have great music behind them. Olivia Penalva's new Christmas song 'Dream You Home' would fit well as a background track for one of the well produced Hallmark Christmas movies, or any other, for that matter. This song is far beyond mediocrity.

Olivia, who hails from Vernon, BC in Canada, has put together quite a gem with this new song.  It has that magical sparkle to it in the underlying arrangements.  It is not as much an in-your-face Christmas song as it is capturing the spirit behind the season, making it perfect for placement in any Christmas or Holiday movie.  The chorus of the song is very memorable and powerful and even having this as a background track would make any movie even better. (Great tracks can MAKE a great movie)

Not only does the song have a great mix of sounds based around a sort of shuffle march type drum beat on the verses but the lyrics are well written and paint a perfect picture of what she is trying to convey.

My favorite lyric in 'Dream You Home' is 'The light in your soul shines brighter than gold in my heart – that’s where you are.'

The images invoked by the song could be any number of situations. It could be a lost loved one or a significant other who is separated by distance or time, or even a soldier gone in a far away land during the Christmas Season and the song is almost like the soldiers’ spouse singing to bring him home even if it's only at home in the heart.

The song does indeed grab your heart and imagination, which is, to me, the ultimate goal of a song - to speak to anyone or everyone in any situation. This is one more thing that makes it an easy shoo in for anyone considering it for a spot in a Christmas movie.

Often, it is this time of year when many find themselves missing a loved one in some capacity, and it isn't always the best time for many, but even still and even if you are not into Christmas or the spirit of it, and even if you are the Grinch himself, this song still weighs in on its own merit as a song with a powerful chorus that demands attention and speaks to the soul.

This isn't Olivia's first Christmas song. I reviewed 'Christmas For Two' which was published in Starlight Music Chronicles' December issue back in 2015 which can be found (here) as well as on my own blog (here). (see video below)

Since that time Olivia has progressed even further as an Artist and has honed even further her vocal and songwriting skills. Recently reaching a million plays on Spotify, her newer music bears out how far she’s grown since then. 

Her voice still has that same special warmth to it but with a sultry yet still innocent sound that will capture your ears, heart, and will leave a memorable impression when you hear it.  I compared her voice before, in a sense to that of Nora Jones, or Colbie Caillat.  In fact, since the last review, Olivia was able to be mentored by Colbie Caillat after winning teen artist of the year in the Starlight Music Chronicles "Artist of the Year Contest" in 2016.

 As a winner, Olivia got to attend ArtistMax an Artist Development program in L.A. in March 2017. Artist Max was dreamed up by legendary Producer and Engineer Ken Caillat (Fleetwood Mac Rumours) and was mentored there by Ken and Colbie Caillat, and David Foster in L.A.


Olivia Penalva Social Media Links (click to view)

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