Stan Bush Dream the Dream (2010) Frontiers Records Produced by: Holger Fath For the Genre: **--- (2/5) Compared to the Era: ***-- (3/5) Summary: Though lacking in some areas, it wins with vocal heroics and catchy arrangements. Recorded in Sherman Oaks just six miles away from where I live—and released on the same day as the debut live performance in Studio City just a few miles away featuring my own band, Stan Bush teamed up with long-time partner Holger Fath and legendary bassists Matt Bissonette to record “Dream the Dream.” This is an album that if you like John Waite, or classic Foreigner, will certainly not fail to delight. Bush is a master at songs designed to inspire images of overcoming obstacles, fighting for love, and being victorious. While the exterior artwork might not be much to look at, I appreciated not only the great imagery in the booklet to accompany the CD, but also the cool photos of the man himself, Stan Bush. My favorite song on the CD was “More than a Miracle,” because unlike the other tracks, it’s really peppy and energetic with catchy vocals, and intense composition. My second favorite would have to be “Love is the Road,” because the chorus is so emotional, inspirational and hopeful. “Two Hearts” is another song just like that, although it seemed a bit melodically disjointed to me, a common issue I had with the majority of the material on this album. For example, I loved “I’m Still Here” but it really sounded like two songs that were cut and pasted together that only had the tempo in common, which is too bad—because this one got a lot of spins in the car when I finally listened to it. My favorite thing about this album is that it did open with a very strong track: “Never Hold Back.” It is so inspirational, and it makes you feel good to listen to it, no matter what mood you’re in. “Sam’s Theme (The Touch)” was quite clearly an attempt to get onto the soundtrack of the 2007 “Transformers” movie and that’s unfortunate because it sounds truly awful. The only thing worse than today’s American rock bands is when someone from the 1980s-era tries to go for that sound (like on any album Warrant recorded after 1990). I’m sorry that track got on this CD because it is hardly representative of Stan Bush—not his tone, not his vocal style, his songwriting style, or anything else. It should have been a bonus track included as a free download to better promote the record. The other issue is that I think I would have produced this album much differently. “In My Life” is the only song that had drum tracks that sounded the way they should have for the whole album—grand and full of tone. In fact, I would have ended the album with that song instead of “Sam’s Theme.” “The Touch” and “You’ve Got the Power” on the soundtracks of The Transformers: The Movies and Sailor Moon are Stan Bush’s claim to fame—just follow him on Twitter and Facebook. As it turns out, he has been a prolific AOR rock recording artist, dating back to 1983 on CBS Records, which is not news to anyone who’s into melodic rock. What probably is, is the fact that Stan continues to write and record new music and even his most lackluster tracks sound better than anything I’ll hear on FM radio here in Los Angeles.