December 14, 1987 12:00 PM

Dream Academy

Lead singer Nick Laird-Clowes, keyboardist Gilbert Gabriel and oboe player Kate St. John, the English trio whose 1985 debut album was a solid success, often manage to evoke thoughts of ’60s ensemble pop groups such as the Fifth Dimension, the Association and Sergio Mendes & Brasil ’66. There are even a couple of seagull squawks on one track of this LP, Indian Summer, and such lines as: “And freedom walked without a name/ Through poppy fields and remembrance days/ And the words hung like winter in the air.” There are, however, enough hard synthesizer edges to relieve a lot of the ooozy-shwoozy feelings, and such tracks as Doubleminded have a mild rock tinge. The melange is easy to take, if not exhilarating. The only real clunker is the well meant In Exile, inspired by a Village Voice article about repression in Latin America: “Invaded by doubt/ Under dictator who escalates terror/ Provoking further civil unrest/ And in the fear of the nights’ disappearances.” It seems more unwieldy than touching. (Reprise)

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