Album Review :
Dominic Balli - American Dream

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Artist: Dominic Balli

Album: American Dream

Label: None

Release Date: July 26, 2011

Reviewer: Eric Pettersson


  1. American Dream (feat. Sonny Sandoval)
  2. We Won’t Stop
  3. Louder
  4. Take My Love
  5. See What We Become
  6. Again and Again
  7. Favela (feat. Nengo Vieina)
  8. Twenty Seventeen
  9. All We Need Is Love
  10. Refuge
  11. You Are There (feat. Jenkins)
  12. Daisy’s Song

Hearing the title track, I had no idea what genre to call this music. It has a really heavy, grooving bass, topped with thick, echoing vocals and up-strum guitars. It seems pretty urban, blending rock, pop, reggae, and (once Sonny from P.O.D. enters the scene) a little rap. That isn’t exactly “unclassifiable,” but it’s certainly unfamiliar territory for many of us. However, after hearing the rest of the record and reading Dominic Balli’s profile, the picture slowly became clearer. American Dream is a collection of reggae songs and pop dance songs, all presented for people who mostly only listen to rock. So, if you liked the early 2000’s bands like Pax217 (Engage era) and of course P.O.D., you may want to check this out. But in my opinion, it will be even more appealing to people who really do enjoy fun pop music, from Jason Mraz to Taio Cruz. This album moves from the beach to the club and back again, reimagining island music in a way that only a SoCal musician could do.

Overall: Dominic Balli’s unique brand of “CaliRockReggae,” as he puts it, will draw fans from many walks of life, offering heavy bass lines (this thing is killing my car), feel-good melodies, and uplifting lyrics covering everything from romantic love to putting hope in Christ to fighting the complacency that comes from feeling too comfortable in life. I often see review comments on IVM saying, “Wow, I didn’t know music like this existed, but I’m glad I checked it out.” With this release, I’m betting we’ll be seeing a few more of those comments soon.