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STAN BUSH Dream The Dream Frontiers Records (2010)

Stan Bush

In a world of fickle musical tastes, cult AOR artist Stan Bush has chosen to plough a consistent furrow since the eighties rather than jump on passing bandwagons in the hope of gaining the recognition his talent deserves.

His first album in three years sees little tinkering with a classic formula that conjures up images of eighties movie soundtracks. All the trademarks of great AOR are there - strong, stirring choruses liberally sprinkled with 'na na na' and 'who-oh's, sparkling keyboards, and slightly breathy vocals singing of resilience and hope in the face of lost love.

Titles like 'Don't Give Up On Love' and 'Never Hold Back' do exactly what they say on the tin, helped by a sympathetic production from Holger Fath who also supplies guitars and keyboards.

Stand out tracks include 'Two Hearts', which AOR anoraks may remember as a CITA cover from their 1995 classic 'Relapse of Reason', which has a very Foreigner-esque feel, and the title track which is one of the anthems of hope that Stan specialises in.

If I have a criticism it is that the album has a very samey feel. Ironically the exception is a remake of probably his best known song, 'The Touch', from the Transformers movie. He has radically reworked it, now retitled 'Sam's Theme (The Touch)', for possible use in a sequel. This version sees him experimenting with a modern arrangement which reminds me of The Rasmus or even the more commercial moments of Linkin Park or Lostprophets. Intriguing, and yet it works.

Generally though, a very solid effort with all AOR's classic hallmarks. For that same reason though I fear it will mainly preach to the converted.


Review by Andy Nathan


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***** Out of this world | **** Pretty damn fine |
*** OK, approach with caution unless you are a fan |
** Instant bargain bin fodder | * Ugly. Just ugly

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