Another Kind of 'Dream' Is A 'Reality'

I'm unsure if this is old news or what, but involves one of my favorite girl groups of the early 00's, so why not state it again?

Dream (not to be confused with the asian group with the same name) was an American girl group that launched in 1998, and debuted with the single "He Loves U Not" in 2000. The song went to #2 on the Hot 100. The group included Holly Blake Arnstein (the main singer), Melissa Schuman, Ashley Poole & Diana Ortiz, all from California, and all around 15 years old when the single was released. The group were signed to Diddy's Bad Boy Imprint, and attempted to use this connection to help distinguish themselves from the clutter of pop girl groups out at the time.

The released a second single from their debut album shortly thereafter, entitled "This Is Me", with a remix featuring Diddy and a new rapper Kain (where is he now?). Although other singles were planned, none were released due to the slowdown of the industry in response to the September 11th Terrorist Attacks in New York City. It was a shame, because that album, It Was All A Dream, was full of potential pop hits in my eyes, especially "In My Dreams" and "When I Get There".

The group opened for *NSYNC, Britney Spears and 98 Degrees, and were also a part of the 2001 TRL Tour (which I saw! Woo!). However, the promotion machine behind them went dark until April of 2002 when Melissa Schuman announced she would be leaving the group to pursue an acting career.

Melissa was replaced after a nationwide search led by Diddy himself by Kasey Sheridan, who was a year younger than her Dream counterparts. The group was revamped, and in 2003, the first single off the sophomore album, "Reality", was released, entitled "Crazy". The song featured a rap by Loon.

However, the song and video didn't connect well, as the group now had a more amplified, sexualized image, rather than their teen pop retable roots. The release date for 'Reality' keep getting continually pushed back, and the group disbanded sans a formal announcement. Holly Arnstein joined a rock band entitled Whirl Magnet.

In 2005, it was discovered that "Reality", which was never formally released, was available for digital purchase from a French version of Virgin Music. Fans devoured the album, which included several good cuts, including "I Am Woman" and "Stop", as well as the singles "Crazy" and the under-promoted "That's OK".

In 2006, Arnstein broke her silence and stated the group broke up due to Bad Boy and Diddy's push of a sexier image upon them. Two years later, two never before released albums by Dream were released to the US iTunes store, entitled "Daddy's Little Girl" and "Dream Never Land" under Bad Boy Records. The songs are presumably unnreleased material that never made the cut for the first album, and songs recorded before Schuman's departure in 2002.

Also in early 2008, Schuman announced she wanted to bring Dream back together with all of its original members, but the "dream" was never realized. She and former Dream member Ashley Poole began creating a new pop band with a new (but still poppy) direction. In July, it was announced Diana Ortiz would join the same band, leaving fans to believe it was Arnstein who was the most against Dream reuniting. The group was named Lady Phoenix, and they are working on their debut album. They have released one song, technically: a cover of Peggy Lee's "Fever", projecting a newer, blusey take on their pop past.

A new version which features Ortiz was released on their MySpace page recently, along with two other new demos: "Goodbye Love" and "Don't Tell Momma". The new demos point to their more lighthearted jazzy take on new pop, which is more harmony infused than their previous work. "Goodbye Love" sounds like something straight out of the classic girl groups of the '50s. Judge for yourself at http://www.myspace.com/ladyphoenixmusic.

However, don't count Diddy out just yet. With what appears to be the slump of his other girl group Danity Kane, now that it's down two members, it seems Dream is being risen from the dead by Diddy, as it now has a new profile on YouTube. It will feature former "American Juniors" contestant and Bad Boy Records signee Jordan McCoy (her first single "I Get Weak" was released last January but the has been stalled ever since), and newcomer Hunter Pecunia. The two have done several cover versions of popular songs and posted the videos on YouTube, and are currently in the market for another one or two member(s) for the group. Auditions are apparently being done over the Internet through YouTube. Jordan McCoy's old YouTube account has closed.

I'm not sure how I feel about the new Dream, as I feel its a publicity ploy to gain the teen fans that have shown love (and padded the pockets) of Miley Cyrus, Jonas Brothers, Demi Lovato, etc. Especially because in the "about us" section of the YouTube, they state that the original Dream broke up due to "personal issues regarding BOYS! What else breaks up girl groups?" You can visit the YouTube here: http://www.youtube.com/user/OFFICIALDREAMTV.

This offhandish remark is hurtful to the past that Dream represented, but I won't hate on the new crew until I hear some real finished product from them. I, for one, am a fan of Jordan's, as her version of Fergie's "Big Girls Don't Cry" was better than the original...We shall see.

So let's add Lady Phoenix and the new Dream to any already heavy list of girl groups for possible domination in 2009. Look for that article coming soon! :)

2 comments

Nikki said...

I LOVE Dream! haha.

Wait, DK is down to two members? I thought there were three of them left?

Mel said...

I probably worded that funny -- they do have three members, but they lost two.

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