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Articles Home » 2007 Articles » Negus - 2007 Dare To Dream
Negus - 2007 Dare To Dream

ALBUM: Dare To Dream
LABEL: Cyclone Records
YEAR: 2007


LINEUP: Steve Negus - drums, percussion, guitars * Al Langlade - vocals, guitars * Mark Severn, Kelly Kereliuk - guitars * Ian Nielsen - bass * Matt Whale - keyboards

Guests: Jim Gilmour - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Lust * 02 Catch My Fall * 03 Dare To Dream * 04 Nightmare * 05 I Rest My Case * 06 No Heaven No Hell * 07 As I Am * 08 One Mans Army * 09 Body And Soul * 10 Satellites * 11 Epitaph For Mark



Longtime Saga fans will require no introduction as to who Steve Negus is. The Canadian drummer, who has been in the industry for years has just recently inked a deal with Brad Trew's excellent Cyclone Records label to release his first solo album 'Dare To Dream'. A timely release, considering Saga's recent offering '10,000 Days' has drawn great press from around the globe. We don't need to dwell on Negus' past exploits with other bands such as Fullerton Dam and Fludd - along with Saga, you can read about that elsewhere. What is interesting is that Negus has cobbled together musical ideas and thoughts - accumulated over many years, and these have bore fruit on 'Dare To Dream'. However, the songs are a collobration with former Total Stranger lead singer Al Langlade. Negus and Langlade used the power of the Internet to assemble the album. When Negus left Saga for the second time back in 2003, it was his intention to release 'Dare To Dream' as soon as possible. It took four years to materialise, but what Negus can say is that it's all been done on his terms. The release of the album, around about the same time as Saga's '10,000 Days' is purely coincidental.

The Songs
As most of us will know, Negus' drumming on past albums contain patterns and signatures that are unique to him. In saying that, don't expect to hear re-runs of 'Silent Knight' or 'Worlds Apart' styled genius on 'Dare To Dream'. It's a musicians album as opposed to a drummers album, and the experience of recording it allowed Negus to offload his music without the hinderance of it being turned down in a band situation. Mostly though, these songs flow really well. There is the odd variation that takes in progressive angles, and some jass/fusion stylings, but it's all played within the context of a mainstream rock environment. Kicking off with 'Lust', this is a strong start to the album. It's moody - to the point of having an attitude. Acoustic guitar drives us forward on 'Catch My Fall', perhaps the most commercial song on the album, and the catchiest.. even with the slashing guitar solo included! 'Dare To Dream' is the type of song you can be transported along on the evening wind. It flows and undulates with synth layers occupying the space. The solo spot is an instrumental section fusing classical and prog elements. 'Nightmare' takes a different course altogether. A funky arrangement mainly, with some Rhodes like parts giving it an urban/jazz vibe. Negus lets the 'marching boy' in him take over precedings on 'I Rest My Case'. Drum solo freaks should check this out. It's no coincidence that Steve is called the Lord of the Drums for nothing! Some fancy drum rolls can be heard on 'No Heaven, No Hell', a regimented back beat with some stinging guitar parts. I do quite like the lazy summer feel of 'As I Am'.. I can see the hazy horizon and the heat rising from the road from here! Great imagery yes, as is the next tune 'One Mans Army' - which starts out in subdued fashion before coming to life in a big way - mid song, with guitars carving up the soundscape. 'Body And Soul' is the licorice allsorts song on the album. It's got everything really. It's closer in feel to Saga's material, especially those unusual guitar lines toward the end. The intro might be prog-based, but 'Satellites' is instrument rich, with guitar and bass lines competing, an assortment of keyboard effects, plus the ever present drumwork.

In Summary
As with every album, there's a story to be told. During recording, guitarist Mark Severn was lost to a car accident. His presence was felt before and noted after, hence a tribute was made on 'Epitaph For Mark'. The teamwork of Negus and Langlade hopefully is one that is maintained into the future, as both these guys seem to be reading off the same page. No doubt Saga fans, plus prog fans (whether you like the olde worlde stuff or the neo-prog stuff) should find their way to this album without getting lost. Some very good material to be found here - thats for sure! 'Dare To Dream' will be on the playlist for a few weeks yet.

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#1 | Eric on August 22 2012 03:33:42
This was better than I thought it would be. Nice one and a real grower.
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