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Dreamer (USA) - 2008 We've Got The Power

ARTIST: Dreamer (USA)
ALBUM: We've Got The Power
YEAR: 2008


LINEUP: Grady Smith - vocals * Mark Moulin - lead guitar * Tom Slack - keyboards * Steve Elowe - rhythm guitars, vocals * Doug Lunn - bass * Larry Dent - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 One In A Million * 02 UFO Connection * 03 Queen * 04 We've Got The Power * 05 Don't Wanna Make You Cry * 06 Really Wanna See You * 07 Playing With The Devil * 08 Nothing To Lose * 09 Angel Of The Night * 10 Journey To Romance * 11 Cheap Shot Lovers * 12 Heart To Heart * 13 Living On The Wrong Side Of Life * 14 Changing With The Times


Previously, Dreamer were featured in a review of their rare 4 track EP from 1982 on this website. As a result of reading that article, the band's former manager and confidante Mike McNulty, contacted us, saying that the band had some previously unreleased material that would be a good contender for a re-release. We put Mike onto Bruce Donachie at AOR-FM, and several months later - than union has resulted in this amazing CD. For me, this is the best AOR-FM release so far. The packaging is pretty special, the CD is a limited collectors edition with only 750 copies being printed. 'We Got The Power' contains those four tracks originally found on the 'Dreamer EP', plus another ten unreleased tracks. Steve Elowe joined the band to flesh out their live sound, and soon after Dreamer were playing bigger venues and even supported the Joe Perry Project. The band ventured into the Elefante's Pakaderm Studios to record a further ten songs, but their efforts weren't sustained, the band eventually breaking up. It is these ten songs produced by Dreamer keyboardist Tom Slack which now see the light of day on this CD, along with those four '82 tracks.

The Songs
Dreamer kick off with 'One In A Million', an energetic (if muscular) form of AOR that is based on a familiar set of keyboard stabs from ivory king Tom Slack. 'U.F.O Connection' is one of the highlights on the album for me. Again, Slack drives forth again with an insistent synth pattern which is offset by some swirling keys elsewhere. Not to be outdone, guitarist Mark Moulin throws his weight around too. The voice-over through the middle (one presumes to be an alien!) is kinda cool. The band deliver a fast and racy effort on 'Queen', another energetic track fuelled by adrenalin and pep pills. The title track 'We've Got The Power' is the pick of the bunch for me. An intense song, with deeply laden synths, pulsing bass lines and a killer chorus. I'm sure most of you who appreciate this style will understand what I'm on about. 'Don't Wanna Make You Cry' sees the band taking their foot off the accelerator. This one's a ballad in the vein of Detroit pompsters Sweet Crystal. It has some nice moments too. 'Really Wanna See You' sits well in the pop/rock vein, and is probably the band at its most commercial.

'Playing With The Devil' as per the song-title, tries to rough it up a bit. Growling guitars precede events, but the whole thing turns out like Preview meeting Alliance at an AOR convention! I'm drooling at the prospect! 'Nothing To Lose', 'Angel Of The Night', 'Journey To Romance' and 'Cheap Shot Lovers' have been reviewed previously on the 'Dreamer EP' release. The liner notes disclose the fact the Johnny Almond from the band Mark-Almond was the guest saxophone player on 'Nothing To Lose'. 'Heart To Heart' is typical early 80's era AOR, beautiful in places, but the audio quality of this one is not as good as those heard before. A nice track nonetheless. 'Living On The Wrong Side Of Life' again suffers from patchy audio quality, but the song itself is a bit heavier and darker, not unlike material of that classic 1986 album from The Ladder. The album is completed by 'Changing With The Times'. This one didn't quite do it for me, though as has been quoted by me on other GD reviews elsewhere, it would've died a death if placed in lesser hands!

In Summary
Bruce will admit that the audio quality lacks on some of the tracks (the last three in particular, I guess that is why they are placed so far down the track listing), so you'll need to see through that aspect to appreciate the songs. As musicians, these boys were top notch; from singer Grady Smith right the way through to drummer Larry Dent. Since their breakup, the members went on to other projects. Obviously the band are still in touch with each other, hence the release of this retrospective CD. Kudos goes to Mike McNulty and Tom Slack, and of course our good friend Bruce Donachie for releasing this wonderful bit of history. Aah, this is what it's all about! So, get in quick, because 750 limited edition copies won't last very long.

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#1 | Nick C on October 25 2008 07:57:28
This is an inspired re-release from the ever expanding roster over at AOR-FM and although I've only had this for around a week or so - it's been pretty much on constant play here at Clarkson Fields. The actual title track reminds me of Orphan (circa Lonely at Night) with it's delivery. Although as stated some of the later tracks are of a lesser quality they are not so bad as to be off putting or annoying. Top release.

Good work Bruce...looking forward to 1st Thrills too! Smile
#2 | Jez on October 25 2008 14:45:31
I am a complete sucker for this type of stuff to be honest, as I am sure most people on this site are, as it just about hits all the right buttons in the style of music I like listening to the most. There are some belting tracks on here, especially the title track and the 4 EP. Tracks. As Nick says, this is definitley the best AOR-FM release so far and again a well done from me for getting this and the other releases out there. Roll on Thrills 1 indeed

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