Released: 2010, Frontiers Records
It's hard to believe that Stan Bush's career has lasted for almost thirty years and spanned over ten albums. For someone that prolific, it's criminal that the guy has never really made a big commercial dent in his home (North American) music scene. I first heard his music as a youngster when the first Transformers movie came out. The combination of giant robots battling to hard rock music ensured that Bush's "Dare" and "The Touch" reminded burned into my impressionable little mind; and still are to this day. The film's soundtrack was probably the closest Bush has come to grabbing the brass ring over here, though his career has flourished overseas. Thankfully, he continues to soldier on and put out the quality melodic hard rock that he's known for, including this, his latest album.
Simply put, DREAM THE DREAM is everything that you could possibly want out of a Stan Bush album. It's jam-packed with hooks, melodies, sing-along choruses, cheesy lyrics, and the occasional guitar fireworks. Stan's vocals have not suffered any over the years and he still sounds as vibrant and hopeful as he did back in 1985. The music too is ripped right from the '80s, right down to the lighter-waving ballads and 'you can do anything!" attitude imbued in the lyrics (see the title track and "Never Hold Back"). Indeed, the erstwhile love song "I'm Still Here" could be a paean to Stan's own career, as he has defied the odds and continues to make music his way. That's not to say that DREAM THE DREAM sounds like it was made in the '80s though. While Bush's roots are firmly in place, this is how melodic rock should sound in 2010. There's even a re-imagined, modernized version of "The Touch" included just for fun (even though the original is still better).
Make no mistake, there is nothing on this album that is going to make many of today's heavier-than-thou fans sit up and take notice; and yes, it is a little lightweight for Metal Rules, but there's no denying that DREAM THE DREAM contains some damn fine music. If you have a soft spot for melodic hard rock, do not hesitate to find this album.