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Articles Home » 2016 Articles » Ousey, Chris - 2016 Dream Machine
Ousey, Chris - 2016 Dream Machine

ARTIST: Ousey, Chris
ALBUM: Dream Machine
LABEL: Escape Music
YEAR: 2016
SPONSOR: Connecting Music Portal


LINEUP: Chris Ousey - lead vocals, backing vocals * Chris Green - lead guitars * Tommy Denander - lead guitars, rhythm guitars, keyboards * Adam Wakeman - keyboards * Andy Loos - bass * Lars Chriss - drums * Ged Rylands, Paul Hume - backing vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 This Is The Life * 02 Another Runaway * 03 War * 04 Dream Machine * 05 Tearing It All Down * 06 Into Your Dream * 07 Moment Of Madness * 08 Gone Long Gone * 09 Better Time To Come * 10 Eager To Please * 11 Return To Me


He's been described as the bloke with the 'golden tonsils'. A great reputation to have when you're in the music industry yeah? For sure, and I'm sure most of you don't need reminding of Chris Ousey's discography going back to the days of Virginia Wolf, Heartland and others. Ousey is now the owner of two solo albums, though we all wished he would have released more. Not seen in a solo capacity since 2011's 'Rhyme & Reason', his latest effort 'Dream Machine' will surely tick all the boxes for many of the regular GDM'ers here.

The Songs
There is a nice balance of melodic keyboard work and stinging guitars. When combined with Ousey's vocal work, the results are very good. The compositions are varied, there's no sameyness (which cannot be said about many current releases), and the level of musicianship is - as to be expected, in the upper realms of professionalism. Much of this album I enjoyed. The lead-off 'This Is The Life' is a racy opening, reminding me of Chris' work with Mike Slamer, though Mike is not involved on the album. The spicy keyboard dabble on War' is great, creating a motif and pattern which is reflected through this impressive song. 'Tearing It Down' is of a similar structure, clever keyboard use, and some interesting passages. 'Into Your Dream' is the heaviest track so far, the noodling guitar work from Chris Green places this one right on the edge. 'Gone Long Gone' must be listened to under a set of headphones such is its impact. Very lush, but not lacking in energy or firepower. just when I thought it couldn't get better, along comes 'Better Time To Come'. This is certifiably GloryDaze approved, with riffs aplenty. 'Eager To Please' shuffles into a bluesy groove, while the album closes with 'Return To Me', a tough sounding version of AOR.

In Summary
The thing I like about 'Dream Machine is that the songs are concise, focused, and don't overstay any welcome on your aural senses. No overblown pieces and time-challenged songs - which is great from my perspective. All of the songs are under the 4 and half minute mark. That must be some sort of record! Definitely, the first quarter of 2016 has been one of the strongest new release periods for ages, and gives all the fans of melodic rock some hope that the industry is not sinking below the waves. For me personally, I don't think the music itself is at fault, but the industry music model certainly is. Along with all the other recent compulsory acquisitions (Treat, The Defiants), add this to your collection with confidence.

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#1 | jeffrey343 on May 20 2016 22:29:19
I'm glad you reviewed this before I got to it, as Chris Ousey is kind of a tough artist for me. He is an excellent vocalist with a distinct style, and this and his 2011 album have a great sound. But lyrically, he's not always an easy listen. He doesn't use the same clichéd expressions that are very comfortable on my ears, and his lyrics tend to the deeper side of the pool. So I feel like I have to concentrate harder to get the same level of enjoyment as I do from other albums, even though, as I said, they sound great.

I can liken it to drinking wine instead of beer.

I was pretty excited with the early-released 'Another Runaway' (another runaway song for my 'runaway' playlist), as it was the most accessible song I've heard from him in a while. It's still the most typical song on the album, but overall I find the whole album an easier listen than the last one. Even without Mike Slamer's involvement, it doesn't deviate much from that sound.

Overall, still very good. I'd also most likely give it a 9. I'm glad he kind of 'dumbed down' his sound a bit for guys like me Smile
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