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Ramos-Hugo - The Dream (CD)

The Dream
by Grigoris Chronis at 02 October 2008, 7:24 PM

Josh Ramos and Hugo: an anticipated collaboration between two esteemed artists in the melodic Rock field. The loud rockin' face of Ramos with the velvet throat of Hugo can create something that will surely generate strong impressions in the genre's fans. The Dream is out in the following days and I did not have to spend much time on trying to get familiar and come up with a solid conclusion.
Josh Ramos: his roots locate at Bay Area, San Francisco, where - in the first half of the 80s - he cut his teeth in LE MANS trying to unveil his strapping persona in a typhoon of cranking guitarists (remember Mike Varney's roster?). An equal mix of shredder-ness and melody, Ramos had to wait a little bit before scoring bigger levels with THE STORM (hyper-band featuring JOURNEY members), HARDLINE and TWO FIRES (alongside THE STORM's superb singer Kevin Chalfant). His first solo album, Living In The Light, was a good portion of guitar-oriented Rock album; dunno if The Dream is considered to be a Ramos solo follow-up, then again.
Hugo: a 'cult' singer for OPEN EYEZ and VALENTINE, as well as a revered solo artist, he definitely bears a face resemblance to JOURNEY's legendary frontman Steve Perry, let alone the fact he strongly sounds influenced by the American idol (he even fronted a tribute band called EVOLUTION). His debut solo CD did score great feedback in the AOR field, while he additionally released two more albums (Time On Earth and Fire In The Night). In the midst of VALENTINE being back on trek in 2008, Hugo took the chance to accept Ramos' kind proposal to sing in The Dream.
If you dig JOURNEY and their imminent influence on post-80s bands/artists/projects, then The Dream surely is an album you'll be satisfied with. With lots of clichés (grooves, lead themes, production, lyrics concept), some special citing should be made in regards to i) Josh Ramos' playing variety, since it bears a maturity wanted and wished for rockers 'into' his style , ii) Hugo's attractive performance, since he seems more 'into' Steve Perry than ever and iii) the CDs consistency, to the point that - including all the pre-said clichés - you will possibly not get bored in continuous auditions. The songs' aura, the sonic sequence and the mix equilibrium should guarantee for a pleasant 'stay', always having in mind limited will the possibilities be to find something striking over here.
The Dream is not a dream-like album, but it definitely is a worth checking release. Not having a clue if this alliance will carry on in the future, Josh Ramos and Hugo remind us of their mindful virtue; melodic Rock/AOR devotees need this one.
P.S.: The solos provided by Ramos kick - in general - big ass.

3 Star Rating

You're Not Alone
All That I Wanted
The Dream
Fool's Game
Bring Back This Love
I Don't Wanna Say Goodbye
When You Get Lonely
In The City
If I Can Take You
Hugo - Vocals
Josh Ramos - Guitar
Fabrizio Grossi - Bass
Eric Ragno - Keyboards
John Macaluso - Drums
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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