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While Richie didn’t design Dreams or Memories as a concept album with a single “through” narrative, he achieves the emotional ebb and flow he mentions by arranging songs in a compelling tracking order that balances “good days and bad days” in a way that progresses logically and not like a “crazy roller coaster.”


Appreciating the hands on approach of co-producer Andy Pow, whose guidance and no nonsense critiques helped the singer/rapper up his studio game considerably, Richie also brought to the table previously recorded mantra beats and layered music he had worked on with various producers in the past.

The infectious, laid back, pop-tropical tune “About The Money” shows him and his friends talking, drinking, kicking back and having a great time, talking about their future but focusing on other things besides money to make themselves happy. Richie showcases his whimsical romantic side via a soulful blend of acoustic guitar, rap and lead vocal energy on “Say Now,” which he wrote from the perspective of his older brother, as if talking sweetly to his wife. “They’re pretty much the couple that inspires me to find true love of my own,” Richie says.

His artful fusion of rapping and singing is in full throttle mode on “Tell Your Friends,” a summery jam that he calls “as close as I can get to a bad boy tune.” He’s also in a lovelorn state on the passionate ballad “Steal Your Heart,” vowing to love the girl who got away better if she comes back. Complementing his vocals and rhymes are the soaring featured vocals of Glen Travis. After the synth heavy, super ambitious “cocky rap” tune “I Want It All,” Richie offers his heartfelt best on the title track “Dreams or Memories,” a deeply introspective about coming to terms with his own life and future after the tragic deaths of several fellow West Point cadets. “It’s about holding onto the great memories while allowing the reality of the brevity of life to drive me to accomplish the things I want to in life,” he says.

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