Area: The Perfect Dream (Digital)

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Product Description

  1. With Louise
  2. I’ll Gather Flowers | Video
  3. Surrender to the Wheel
  4. Sympathy
  5. Why Should I Worry
  6. Vigilant
  7. Thread
  8. Tunnel
  9. As Thick as Thieves
  10. Disappear Here
  11. The Blue Spark
  12. All About Money
  13. Sisters of Mercy

Lynn Canfield
Henry Frayne
Steve Jones
Glenn Graham, sax and clarinet
Nick Rudd, guitar on With Louise
K Paul Boyev, bass on Thieves
1988. Area’s 3rd album.

A review from Melody Maker, England
“Effortlessly seductive, reducing odd syllables to a whisper, a sense of calm weeping from every note in spite of the articulation of loss and loneliness, confusion and incomprehension, fears and pains, yearnings and soft burnings . . . The album is a triumph of minimalism, dreamscapes gently stirred to pale life through the gentle fingering of fretboards and keyboards . . . Grasping at clouds and clinging to Gabriel’s frayed gown. A wonder.”

A review from Under The Volcano 1998
Area were a band musically that were right where they should have been for their time, circa ‘88. This is very 4AD sounding in the sense of Cocteau Twins and This Mortal Coil. You get female vocals over ghostly guitars and scare drum beats, this was definitely for the black clad set. Oddly enough, now we’d say this is very Projekt Records-ish. At the time this stuff came out, Projekt’s domination of the scene was just starting to build into the massive snowball it is now. This is loaded with the sort of melancholia that you get when you write rather deep and introspective songs. This stuff still holds up, which is partially due to the fact that the gloom and doom seems real rather than painted on.”

A review from Magnet Magazine, Dec 1998
While The Moon Seven Times has dissolved, guitarist Henry Fraynes now leads Lanterna, and singer Lynn Canfield and drummer Brendan Gamble are in Shotgun Wedding. Additionally, fans of The Moon Seven Times will be pleased that the Projekt label has unearthed two of the four albums by enigmatic pop trio Area, the group Canfield and Frayne first played in together. On both The Perfect Dream and Radio Caroline, Frayne conjures up a radiant guitar ether that gently spirals around Canfield’s emotive, fragile voice as they both mesh with Steve Jones’ suitably delicate keyboards and programmed rhythms. Word has it that Jones has resurrected Area and is recording new songs.

A review from Etch Magazine, Dec 1998
Two re-issues (from 1987 and 1998) from this Champaign, IL, band. The music is an exquisite combination of ambient, darkwave and dream pop. Their influences that I could pick up were Dead Can Dance, Roxy Music and Leonard Cohen (which you can hear even before their stellar version of “Sisters of Mercy”). Not only do both CDs contain beautifully composed music, they also feature the seductive, breathy vocals of Lynn Canfield, who later moved on to The Moon Seven Times and is currently in Shotgun Wedding. Thank you Projekt for putting these jewels out.


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Additional information

Weight .3 lbs

Projekt: Archive

Release Year





  1. Reviews Editor

    From Melody Maker

    AREA are an American trio and The Perfect Dream is the first of their three albums to be released here under a new link-up between London’s Third Mind and the Midwest C’est La Mort labels. It’s hard to imagine a more beautiful beginning to any relationship. The essential focus here is Lynn Canfield’s voice. It’s effortlessly seductive, reducing odd syllables to a whisper, a sense of calm yearnings and soft burnings. With “Sympathy” and “Vigilant,” the effect is especially disturbing in a way not dissimilar to that crafted by Hugo Largo’s Mimi. Musically, the album is a triumph of minimalism, dreamscapes gently stirred to pale life through the gentle fingering of fretboards and keyboards, some tracks devoid of a rhythmic backbone. “With Louise” is, however, an hypnotic purr and others, the likes of “Surrender to the Wheel” and “As Thick As Thieves” feature saxophone and clarinet. Grasping at clouds and clinging to Gabriel’s frayed gown. A wonder. March 4, 1989

  2. Reviews Editor

    From Option

    This perfect dream is an extremely wistful and precious one. The music is reminiscent of what might occur if Durutti Column were to mate with the Cocteau Twins, particularly in the case of “With Louise.” The whole album is a fine piece of work, with a lot of variation within the band’s hypnotic and delicate style. “I’ll Gather Flowers” has hints of minimalism, and at times is a bit like the Penguin Cafe Orchestra with female vocals added. “Why Should I Worry” is a bit more fast-paced than most of the songs, with a good sense of percussion. Lynn Canfield’s vocals add a lot of dimension to the band’s identity, as her style is unique and does not seek to emulate others in this genre, such as Virginia Astley. The album is twee, delicate, winsome and yes, absolutely precious, much in the same way a This Mortal Coil album can be. But if you find that sort of music enjoyable, as I
    do, then this album will surely not disappoint you. -Maria V. Montgomery, September 1988

  3. Reviews Editor

    From The Bob

    With a label name like C’est la Mort and labelmates who used to play with This Mortal Coil it’s a cool guess that Area is not a beer guzzlin’ rockabilly band but an outfit dedicated to funeral tempos and prettily wafting melodies that slowly and sexily intone over spacey synthesizers. There’s no denying kinship here with the merry groups of 4AD. The music of Henry Frayne and Steve Jones splits into tunes where silence is an active partner to the sparse, delicately repetitive guitars, floating and ringing minimalistic keyboards, and basses that plunk like tolling bells; while at other times the songs parallel the slow, sad art/pop of the salad days of OMD.

    Pushing above the music like a blast of winter wind comes lyricist/melodist Lynn Canfield, whose rapturously chilly voice breathes tunes like a horny spirit obsessively recording a constantly shifting series of surrealistic and sharply detailed images and moods. She intensely describes the hills and valleys of her emotional landscape with clinical simplicity–until a wildly romantic odd-angled flash of memory adds a dash of symbolism to her gleefully neurotic lines. By now all you raunchers and raunchettes have long ago fled this review, ears plugged with cotton and feet flung toward the first exit. But for those others who feel that the 4AD sound has its own strange little joys, but who wonder why they should listen to this trio, there’s a simple answer. Area uses their influences carefully as springboards to create unique melodies and thoughts of their own, creating a production sound that is crisper and more intimate than the epic sweep of the British moodists. The sexy fairy passion of Canfield and the evocative landscapes drawn with brain power by the band give reason to hope that Area will not have to look back for long at the other side of the ocean. October 1988

  4. Reviews Editor

    Definitive Dreaminess: 100 Essential Dream Pop Releases
    Dark, rhythmic waves of warm synth, dreamily plucked guitar, and dry, hard-hitting drum machines make up the perfect backdrop for Lynn Canfield’s sultry multi-layered vocals. Their third record is their brightest and most majestic work, drawing heavily on 4AD’s ethereal atmosphere and adding a slew of midwestern folk and Americana influences. -FD

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