ALBUM REVIEW: The Juliana Theory – A Dream Away

Release Date: March 26th 2021
Label: Equal Vision Records


It’s been fifteen years since The Juliana Theory broke up, partly due to disputes with former labels Tooth & Nail and Epic Records. However, last year, they announced that frontman Brett Detar and lead guitarist/bassist Joshua Fiedler had reunited as a duo.

This year, the two-piece have ‘A Dream Away’ to offer, their first album since 2005’s ‘Deadbeat Sweetheart’, featuring one brand new song and seven reimagined versions of their older hits.

The opener is a brand new track, ‘Better Now’, opening with a gentle piano and low, subtle, almost remorseful vocals. The vocals get more intense for the chorus, lifting the song into a more hopeful vibe. The line “It is getting better now / Even though you don’t know how” is likely to strike a chord with anyone getting tired of the pandemic and various lockdowns, since we’re all being given signs that the end is in sight.

Highlights of the reimagined songs include ‘If I Told You This Was Killing Me, Would You Stop?’ from 2000’s ‘Emotion Is Dead’. They’ve taken a raucous track, filled with pure, raw emotion, and turned it into a softer acoustic ballad. Even though the feel is totally different from the original, it still carries the same emotion.

‘Bring It Low’, originally the opening track of 2002’s ‘Love’, has been taken from an energetic, riff-heavy rock song to a down tempo, ethereal song, the polar opposite of the original. Pure angry energy has become almost mournful, and distorted electric guitars have been replaced by beautiful acoustic guitar, piano, and even violins towards the end.

‘Duane Joseph’, taken from their 1999 debut album ‘Understand This Is A Dream’, closes the album with a lo-fi poppier version of the song. The harmonised vocal melody will almost move you to tears, while the soft drums, piano, and guitar will leave them swaying along.

Fans of The Juliana Theory will be happy that the band are finally back, and even people who aren’t fans, or weren’t fans before, will resonate with ‘A Dream Away’.