October 21, 2020 Missing Persons – Dreaming (Album Review)
At the peak of the ’80s New Wave movement, amidst everything going on, stood a very unique band by the name of Missing Persons. From the Los Angeles, CA scene, they stood out with a Punk Rock vibe, seductive synthesizers, and edgy guitars. Having it all, the foundation initially began with the charismatic frontwoman Dale Bozzio, her then husband Terry Bozzio scorching on the drums, and Warren Cuccurullo rocking killer riffs on guitars. Later joined by Bassist Patrick O’Hearn and Keyboardist Chuck Wild, they would go on to massive success with songs such as “Mental Hopscotch,” “Destination Unknown,” and “Walking in L.A..” Now decades later, while the cast of characters might have changed, Dale Bozzio keeps the legacy of Missing Persons going with a brand new album, entitled Dreaming.
Initially released to CD and vinyl on March 20th, 2020 through Cleopatra Records, it unfortunately might have been lost in the shuffle of COVID-19’s wave across the globe. That said, it is well worth toggling back a few months to see exactly what the first Missing Person’s album in six years is all about. First and foremost, Dreaming is a unique entity much like Dale Bozzio and Missing Persons. Twelve tracks in total, Dale Bozzio opted to gather with her current supporting band to recreate some classic music, but also compose three new original tunes. On the surface, you might think you are looking at a standard covers album, but this is Missing Persons and nothing is ever ordinary.
For starters, there is no getting around Dale Bozzio’s eccentric approach to music; her voice is sometimes quirky, nearly always unique, and unquestionably impossible to ignore. Here, she handpicks a curious collection of Classic Rock songs ranging from the Mamas and the Pappas’ “California Dreamin’” to The Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” to The Rolling Stones’ “Playing With Fire,” as well as Strawberry Alarm Clock’s “Incense And Peppermints.” Then she mixes in more modern Alternative tunes including The Cars’ “Just What I Needed,” The The’s “This Is The Day,” and Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart.”
Now, it would be one thing if these were just your everyday cover renditions, but they are most certainly not. Instead, Dale Bozzio and company opt to put a completely different spin on each song that make them only recognizable by some melodic qualities and lyrical context. Stripped of their original sound, these covers are darkly beautiful, electronic, and undeniably mesmerizing. Much like what Marilyn Manson did with The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams,” or what Joe Cocker did with The Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends,” Missing Persons bravely and successfully make each of these songs their own.
Which leads us to the original music that dresses the new album – “Lipstick,” “Dreaming,” and “This Time.” Honestly, the production, courtesy of Adam Hamilton (David Hasselhoff / William Shatner), mastering, and track layout is so spot on, it is difficult to distinguish the difference between the original and cover tracks. That in mind, “Lipstick” possesses an authentic retro synth sound that has a haunting quality. This is while “Dreaming” draws you into a more upbeat electronic tune that could fit on any classic Missing Persons’ album. Lastly, “This Time” has a flawless Post Rock feel that is Gothic, seductive, and ever so powerful.
Overall, Dreaming is an extremely surprising release that you will want to listen to again and again. In truth, Missing Persons and Dale Bozzio are one of those underrated bands from the ’80s who were quite influential. Some might even argue that Dale Bozzio’s fashion sense and overall stage presence back in the day has influenced many modern artists, including Lady Gaga. With Dreaming, Dale Bozzio asserts that Missing Persons is still very relevant in 2020. Also, if you are someone curious to learn more about Missing Persons and Dale Bozzio, there is a scheduled tell-all autobiography called Life Is So Strange slated for release very soon. Until then, revel in this stellar new album, because Cryptic Rock gives it 5 out of 5 stars.