Artist: Stan Bush
The name is Bush, Stan Bush, and this is his 11th, yes that's 11th studio album to date. Like me, you could well be thinking "who the hell is Stan Bush?", but don't worry, you'll remember his name and won't forget it once you cop a load of 'Dream The Dream'.
It's full of powerful hooks, melodies and good old fashioned rock songs that you crave for on a melodic rock album, one that shouldn't be overlooked at all.
Seeing as some of his previous album tracks have been used in major films, its no surprise as 'Never Hold Back' has that appeal to it. A big, busy arrangement and catchy repetitive title scratches at your brain to be let in, hell, all you do is hum it for the rest of the day, it doesn't go away!
'I'm Still Here' is one of those songs that comes along once in a while and makes you feel glad that there's this type of music around. It's soaring harmonies up against some raucous guitar work just begs to be turned up LOUD to get the full effect they have. Bush was probably in his element here, singing with a huge smile on his face, the song is so full of life.
He obviously likes his big sounding songs and they don't come any bigger than 'Don't Give Up On Love'. The whole performance, which it is, is on a grand scale, the type Heart used in their prime of the 80's. Those thundering drums, intricate guitar sections, and of course those harmonies working along with dramatic keyboards. You could say rock opera at its best, the song is that impressive.
'Two Hearts' follows on that theme, slightly more restrained in its impact, but just as classy all the same. It's just as well there's a ballad next, as 'In My Life' brings a composed tone to light, Bush's vocals put to the front, showing how good he really is. There's power there without sounding strained on the rockier tracks, mellow and comfortable on the tender moments.
You get to hear the harder edge that Bush and his band can muster up on 'If This Is All There Is', where it all starts so unruffled, low key hooks and a drum-rim beat the set-up before it all takes off. what you end up with is almost another song altogether, chugging riff and heavy bass heaven to finish off with.
True to form, it's back to the easy listening melodic side he's best at with 'Love Is The Road', taking you right back to the 80's big-hair days of Europe and Bon Jovi, though admittedly 'More Than A Miracle' tries to stake that claim a little bit more.
Another one of those "Ah yeah ..." moments comes along on 'Your Time', the way it builds up from vocals and drums to a crescendo of energy from the band that makes it nigh impossible to stay still. get that foot ready for some serious tapping!!
There's still time for one more power ballad, so up comes 'All That I Am' to tug on those heart strings one more time. with the blend of atmospheric keyboards and wholehearted lyrics, you couldn't ask for more when it comes to admitting your feelings via the aid of a song, works every time.
Closing on the guitar-heavy cruncher that is 'Sam's Theme (The Touch)', this song almost sounds out of place an the album, though it is good to hear that when needed, this band can deliver the necessary heard edge again just as good as the next band.
If you can promise yourself just one thing this year, make it be that you at least try to get a listen to 'Dream The Dream', because once you've heard 'I'm Still Here', everything in your life will feel just that little bit better for it, no matter what!!
Review by: Bob Baldwin
Never Hold Back
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