Sunday, January 9, 2011

Classic melodic rock CD of the week

By Stephen Kasenda

RAMOS HUGO “The Dream” (2008)

Two well-known musicians on the AOR scene teamed up to produce an astonishing record for Journey and The Storm lovers – RAMOS HUGO was definitely a hotly anticipated release in 2008. Funny thing is when I first listen to this album, I found it to be pretty decent - good but not great - then the third spin caught me off guard and told my mind that this one is actually a winner. The single problem with "The Dream" is the ultra-close comparison to Journey - sometimes you even think you're listening to a lost Journey record - but if you can overcome that issue, the beauty of each song eventually blossoms nicely and the whole bunch turns out to be a big treat for your ears.

Some spectacular tracks inside are "You're Not Alone", "All That I Wanted", "Bring Back This Love", "I Don't Wanna Say Goodbye", and "Tomorrow". Those tracks usually have memorable lines, sing along choruses, dense solos, and silky compositions. The title track rips "Don't Stop Believin'" a little bit but remains a good song. "When You Get Lonely" and "In The City" are good tracks as well, perhaps only "Fools Game" and "I Can Take You" are passable fillers in my book.

With flawless production and top notch songwriting, I highly praise this album. Ramos put up some colorful solos and Hugo unleashed his optimal vocal effort. Only a couple fillers keeps this album from a perfect rating but all in all, "The Dream" is one excellent AOR release from 2008.

Read more of Stephen’s features at MetalMusicArchives.