The Dreamsicles,
Luv Songs for Grownups
(Hudson Harding, 2005)

You just know a CD titled Luv Songs for Grownups is going to be smarmy, kitschy and too cute for words.

But it's not.

The disc, recorded by musical couple Cary Cooper and Tom Prasada-Rao, a.k.a. the Dreamsicles, is all about love, it's true. And damn, this couple sounds cute, like maybe people have to look away in embarrassment when they're together in public.

Then again, when the world is full of so many examples of love gone wrong, when divorce is more common than lasting marriage, I find myself sympathetic to the idea of perfectly embarrassing love on display. How nice for people, especially children, to see concrete examples of love that works. So when I listened to this collection of songs about love in all its ooey-gooey glory, I rather enjoyed the image of this giggling, hand-holding couple writing and playing these songs.

Theme aside, the question arises whether or not the couple's music is any good. And yes, it is. I really enjoyed listening to them sing each other's praises, which they do cleverly and pleasantly throughout this 12-song disc.

Cooper and Prasada-Rao seem to have a musical heritage rooted in old-fashioned folk and good-time rock 'n' roll. There's nothing flashy here, just good jamming tunes that allow listeners to focus on the lyrics. And the lyrics, along with their presentation, are enjoyable fun.

With the exception of the closing song, a cover of Al Green's romantic "Let's Stay Together," the album is entirely self-penned. The titles describe the mood fairly well: for instance, "What We Know Now," "Unless You Take Yes for an Answer," "How Far Away is Forgiveness" and "Turn Me On." Two of my favorites are a delightful pair, his "What She Does for Me" and her "He's All That," describing in detail exactly why they love each other, as well as the folk-funk ballad, "Really Good at Loving You."

Luv Songs for Grownups is exactly what it should be. I recommend it highly for anyone who really loves someone else.

by Tom Knapp
2 December 2006

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