British label AOR-FM Records is an interesting label indeed. Their aim is to re-release old and, somewhat forgotten or even unknown gems from around the world. This time it´s the US act DREAMER, formed by the great singer Tom Slack. The only real release in the old days was the mini-LP (EP) "Dreamer" in 1982, with four tracks. All of these are certainly included on this CD but also another 10 songs written by the band during approximately the same time-frame.
Now, sit back and be impressed. We´re talking pomp/AOR in the vein of BALANCE, ALLIANCE, TYCOON, WRABIT or even LINK here. And still there is good variation between when comparing the songs to each other. I smell MPG and LE ROUX in the opener "One in a million". It is very demo sounding, though, which is one of very few items on my list of criticism about this CD. Then there´s actually a lot of TOTO and definitely MAXUS in "UFO connection" while the guys rock it away in "Queen", kind of like the more rock based tunes by BALANCE. Well, those were the first three tracks - and it goes on like this. Awesome songs, and fantastic clear-voice singing by Tom Slack. And you get the whole package if you like the typical pomp/AOR of this age; rich keys and chewing but fat guitars and of course nice harmony vocals. The arrangements are very thought through, and there are times when I think of long lost KEATS.
Like I said above, the sound quality is the only problem - at least in a few songs. It even sounds like the master tapes have got some flaws, or were hard to have playing at correct tempo all throgh the songs. You can hear some "floating" or "wobbling" in the keyboards here and there, and I guess that´s inevitable with old stuff that has been lying around on shelves for ages. So, to be fair; the grading of the songs and performances is 4. A grading of the sound would be like 2 and a half. But don´t let this scare you off, since this is really a dream for dreamers of DREAMER. Get it now; it is a limited edition. Oh, and for westcoast fans: yoou should know that one of the band members were Mark Moulin, well-known as a member of KEANE.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME.....This band ROCKS!!
Theres only 3 songs that don't have the same sound as Tom Petty, Fleetwood Mac (because it was the same studio and people involved if you read the inside liner notes) and Kansas, only MUCH tougher.
When is Keane going to have a reissue?