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Need a remedy for insomnia? Then dig the plodding grooves on songstress Cindy Bullens’ sixth record, the aptly titled dream #29. You’d think a collection of soft-rock tunes featuring friends and guest contributors Delbert McClinton, E Street bassist Garry Tallent, Elton John and Red Sox knuckler Tim Wakefield (?) should be, um, diverse? Think again. Bullens’ slo-mo vocalese normalizes the entire package to a point where it’s downright drudgery just hitting the “play” button on the old hi-fi. She’s been nominated for a couple of Grammys, sang with Elton before he sucked, and made a record with guest appearances by friends Emmylou, John Hiatt and Steve Earle. That’s more than most can say. (If only she’d made friends with Snoop Dogg, Astros fastballer Roger Clemens and, say, John Prine.) She’s had her share of life’s hard knocks too; but who could tell? The title track’s guest pianist calls for levity: What do you get when you cross Sir Elton John with a saber-toothed tiger? Answer: We don’t know — but for God’s sake keep it away from your ass.

Robin Johnson writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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