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Priscilla Ahn: A Life in 'Dream'

As a new singer-songwriter with a new debut album, Priscilla Ahn is an unfamiliar figure. But from her first breaths in "Dream," she possesses a presence that can't be overlooked. It's not just the startling clarity of her singing, but also the lovely and occasionally wry songwriting that's bound to capture listeners' attention and imaginations.

There's a sweet innocence to "Dream," with the childish hopes and desires of a "little girl, alone in her little world" captured in the sing-song cant of Ahn's flawless voice and swinging guitar. As she ventures from childhood to adulthood and old age, the song becomes more complex as it moves along.

The dream changes, as well: The child sings, "I had a dream / that I could fly / from the highest swing / I had a dream." The adult takes her flight from the highest tree, before finally seeking out the highest point of all. Looking back, she sings, "I lived it full and I lived it well / as many tales I lived to tell," adding, "I'm ready now / to fly from the highest wing / I had a dream." The song closes in the same simple address as it began, with Ahn lifting her voice — and her audience's eyes — to the sky.

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Claire Blaustein
Claire Blaustein is a freelance writer and music critic who writes for a variety of publications, including The Washington Post, Exclaim! Magazine and La Scena Musicale. She came to NPR as a Performance Today intern in 2005, and has thus far refused to leave. When not doing any of the above, she writes in her blog, I Dig Music..., and pouts until someone gives her a new CD to play with.
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