Released: 2008, www.frontiers.it
Reviewer: Anders Sandvall
Ramos-Hugo is a project that Frontiers Records are happy to release. The project is a duo that consists of the guitarist Josh Ramos known from acts like The Storm, Two Fires and Headline. The other part of the duo is Hugo Valenti who has been a part of Open Skyz and Valentine. Other well known musicians that feature on the album are John Macaluso and Fabrizio Grossi. Grossi has produced the album.
The music of Ramos-Hugo is nothing but melodic rock of the more edgy kind and Ramos has a really fierce guitar play going on through the entire album. Even though there is some heavy use of keyboard have Grossi put the focus on lead vocals and guitar and that really benefit the music. Think of the music of early Journey if you want to have something to compare Ramos-Hugo’s music to with some little more edge.
The material is written by Ramos-Hugo and the guys have created some really heavy and awesome music. THE DREAM is truly a dream to listen to if you’re into any shape and form of the classic AOR scene. My personal favorite tunes are “You’re Not Alone”, “Bring Back This Love”, “When You Get Lonely” and “Tomorrow” that all are faster and more edgy riff based AOR/melodic picks. The songs are really easy to sing a long in and Ramos shows his skills as guitarist. He is both varied and fast and he creates magic with his guitar. And there’s nothing negative to say about Valenti as singer. He sounds brilliant and he really convinces singing AOR music.
Also “All That I Wanted”, “The Dream”, “I Don’t Want To Say Goodbye” are great song. Those are more slow songs where the keyboard takes over a bigger part of the production. And of course are there ballads featured otherwise it wouldn’t be a true AOR album. Most of the lyrics are about love, both happy and un-happy love which makes it all a little predictable but that’s also the only object I have regarding THE DREAM.
The production sounds fabulous and Grossi didn’t let me down this time either. He is a genius producer that lets both Ramos and Hugo take the biggest space in the production. Grossi has also managed to make a tasty and modern sound picture of a genre that sometimes can feel a little old and left behind.
THE DREAM is almost the perfect AOR album so if you’re into this genre then get out and buy the album. I promise you that you’re gonna have a great time listening to it.