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Hugo - 1997 Hugo



ARTIST: Hugo
ALBUM: Hugo
LABEL: Now And Then
SERIAL: NTHEN 36
YEAR: 1997

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Hugo - lead vocals, piano, strings * Vinny Burns - guitars * Gary Hughes - bass, piano, strings * Ged Rylands - piano, keyboards * Greg Morgan - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 We'll Find A Way * 02 Walk Away * 03 So Many Tears Ago * 04 Crazy * 05 All That You Wanted * 06 If You're Ever Lonely * 07 Desire * 08 Standing Alone * 09 A Tear In LA

WEBLINKS: www.hugotunes.com


Background
New Jersey singer Hugo has been a regular participant in the melodic rock scene since the halcyon days of Valentine and Open Skyz. A favourite with British fans, Hugo was one of the first bunch of signings to the Uk label Now And Then Records back in the mid 1990's, his Steve Perry meets Rik Emmett styled warbling put him at the head of a bunch of singers who became pretenders to the throne held by Mr Perry. With a backing band comprising all of the members of UK melodic rockers Ten, and produced by Gary Hughes, there are some choice selections. I have to say though, my preference is for the rockers on this album rather than the ballads. I'm not totally given to Gary's production, it feels very leaden, and I also feel the band wasn't suited to playing this type of material. Despite my misgivings, there are a couple of moments of worth..


The Songs
'Well Find A Way' had potential to be a great lead off track, and in places it succeeds, especially the chorus and vocal harmonies. I'll leave it at that. 'Walk Away' has to be one of the better songs of 1997 - in a nutshell. The chorus is supreme, simple but effective. 'All That You Wanted' moved along nicely in the same vein as early Tyketto, another to impress was 'If You're Ever Lonely', not far behind too 'Standing Alone'. Of the ballads, 'A Tear In L.A' is great, but the album's worst moment would definitely have to be 'All The People You Love'. It tries to infuse 60's whimsical pop with an orchestral backdrop coupled with hard rock. It just doesn't work.


In Summary
Hugo would release a handful of other albums along the way, 'Time On Earth' plus 2004's indie 'Fire In The Night'. Good to see him back with Valentine again, who have also put in appearances at the Firefest gig plus released their 2008 CD 'Soul Salvation'. To wrap up, 'Hugo' as an album might have been raved about back in the day, but I don't think it has aged that well to be honest.


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Comments
#1 | Eric on May 13 2010 23:43:47
I remember mags like Frontiers drooling over Hugo and this album as the second coming of Steve Perry. Of course that was hopeful reaching in the worst way and I liked it for a few plays and never played it again, pawning it off in a trade a few months later. A couple cuts from the Valentine disc were cool- the rest not so much and Open Skyz were far more my speed, but agree with this review- It did not hold up to the hype.
 
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