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HUGO
TIME ON EARTH

Frontiers Records FRCD 0025
Produced by: Hugo

Released: February 7 / Website
Closest Relative: Steve Perry, Journey
GENRE: AOR
OVERALL: 88%

  1. Can't Stop Loving You
  2. Tell It To My Heart
  3. Last One More Time
  4. Anyone In Love
  5. F.I.N.E
  6. Blues For You
  7. This Love Song
  8. I Will Be Waiting
  9. Our Love Will Be There
  10. Magic Power
  11. Time On Earth

Hugo was the front man for two much talked about bands. The more hard rock Valentine and then the softer Open Skyz.
But none of them matched the impact that Hugo's self titled debut album made. That album was released in 1997 to amazing critical and fan reaction. It was musically backed by Gary Hughes, Vinny Burns and the rest of the Ten gang, with Hugo also helping out. It was and still is touted as the album Journey should have recorded, when in that same year, they released Trial By Fire.
It's now Jan 2000 and thing shave changed a little.
This new Hugo album, released after long delay, with mixing and production delays, not to mention some personal tragedies for Hugo to deal with, is finally here.
This album was recorded by Hugo in New York, rather than with the Ten guys in the UK. As things turn out, they did contribute to the album at a later date.
But the crux of the album was Hugo's own doing, making it a different sound and a different approach.
This is a much more personal album than the debut, a more heartfelt and stripped back recording. Like Hugo's debut was compared to a record Journey should have released, this album could be compared to a Steve Perry solo album, or more to the point, an album he could have released in place of For The Love Of Strange Medicine.
Time On Earth is not as good as the debut. Having said that, the album is a monster anyway and is almost perfect AOR. amongst many of the other records releases recently and through the coming year, I still have no doubt that it will rank highly with most.
But it does lack a little in the production department.
The more uptempo fantastic AOR tunes lack the balls that the debut had. Dare I say, where is Vinny Burns and Gary Hughes? Can't say that it is too often when I ask for them to be on MORE records than they are! But it might have helped.
Minor point. Let me describe the songs to you.
Can't Stop Loving You & Tell It To My Heart are pure blissful uptempo rocking AOR.
If you had heard the demo's of these I place in the site several months back, you will be happy to know they are a vast improvement. But it is here mainly where you can tell there isn't quite the power of the debut.
Track 3 is our first ballad. This is exactly where the Steve Perry solo comparisons begin. Let me know what you think. Last One More Time is a killer mood ballad, simplistic in its approach and arrangement. This remind me a lot of the track left off For The Love Of Strange medicine called One More Time. Great piano ballad.
Anyone In Love continues the ballad theme, but this one is more a traditional slow keyboard/guitar westcoast style ballad. The song contains some of the smoothest and best Hugo vocals I have heard and some fine harmonies. Again it is in a Perry solo vibe.
F.I.N.E is more like the debut album. Big bombastic AOR with plenty of guitar and keyboards. A fine and catchy chorus with more great harmonies.
Blues For You is precisely that. Another slow piano ballad, this builds to be a quite big ballad, with lots of moody soulful vocals and some slow guitar solo's and a Hammond organ thrown into the mix.
This Love Song is the killer track of the album. There may be better songs this year, but they won't match this for a pure AOR anthem, there will be none smoother!
The songs starts as a soft ballad like track, but blasts into a chorus that will have AOR anoraks having hot flushes. Huge anthem!! Sounds a little like the unreleased John Waite track Pretty Lies, but as that song is not in wide circulation, I will give Hugo the benefit of the doubt!
I Will Be Waiting is one already widely previewed. Much like the opening two tracks, big AOR like the debut, but could be stronger production wise. Still a great track though.
Our Love Will Be There is back in ballad mode. Like track three, this is sparse and features only a vocal with an acoustic guitar and some guitar and almost new age instrumental backing. A great moody track, but maybe not what everyone is looking for.
Magic Power beefs things up again, this is a cover of the classic Triumph hit and a nice reworking of the track. It stays faithful to the original and Hugo does a fine Rik Emmett.
Time On Earth finishes off the new album, but once again it's a moody new age influenced AOR track that builds in power as the song goes on.
A pretty good track and smooth production, pure AOR fans will love this.
BOTTOM LINE: This is more a solo album and a more personal affair than the debut. While I don't think it is as good or as strong as that album, this will still undoubtedly go down as a firm favourite of 2000 and a favorite of AOR lovers everywhere.
A welcome addition to my collection and a good album, but not quite a classic.
PRODUCTION: 80%SONGS: 89%VIBE: 88%ATTITUDE: 91%
ESSENTIAL FOR: All Hugo lovers, Steve Perry solo and Journey fans. Classic/pure AOR fans.
DISCOGRAPHY:Valentine . Open Skyz . Hugo . Time On Earth


03/11/05: vitor - tonyharnel@clix.pt
Rating: 0
MY FAVORIT SINGER IM FROM PORTUGAL PORTO DONT STOP HUGO

13/12/03: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 91
Better than his first solo album if for no other reason than his vocals are brought to the forefront here, whereas they were buried by guitars in his solo debut. The two are actually laid out very similarly. CAN'T STOP LOVING YOU is similar to WE'LL FIND A WAY, but has better pop sensibility thanks to a BE GOOD TO YOURSELF clone intro. TELL IT TO MY HEART & WALK AWAY again are very close to one another in style, and once again the better vocals give the edge to this CD as well. LAST ONE MORE TIME and SO MANY TEARS AGO are the next tracks on each CD, they're both terrific ballads, but LAST ONE MORE TIME simply grabs you emotionally a bit stronger. So we're at ToE 3, ST 0, right? You get the idea. ToE continues with the solid, if not spectacular ballad ANYONE IN LOVE. FINE is the next track and it rocks clearer, cleaner, and better than anything on the ST CD. BLUES FOR YOU is next, and as much as I don't want to like it, I just do. It's not a great blues number, but it just sounds SO MUCH like Steve Perry in the old pre-ESCAPE days... THIS LOVE SONG is a great track, it makes me sad that the world will never hear it 'cuz (c)rap is all the DJs play. I WILL BE WAITING picks the pace back up again, but it's also where this CD runs out of gas. This track along with the next one OUR LOVE WILL BE THERE are pretty generic stuff. It's almost as if Hugo wanted to make a great CD but was a couple of songs shy. MAGIC POWER is well done, but why redo a classic by someone whose vocal timbre is so close to yours? The CD closes out with the title track which, given a couple of plays, just grows on you. It's not something you'd ever hear on radio or as a single but it just has a quality to it that fits so well to close out this CD. So to wrap up, as has already been said, if you love Journey, Steve Perry, Kevin Chalfant, The Storm, Two Fires, The VU, 707, etc., get on this CD and get your fix.

01/04/01: DrMak - kaywhite@earthlink.net
Rating: 7
Perhaps Hugo sounded more Perryesque on his previous efforts, but
for "Time on Earth", his vocal style might be better characterized as a complex hybrid that crosses SteveP with Brian Howe, Rick Emmett (not solely on Triumph cover, 'Magic Power'), and even Brad Delp for fleeting moments, especially when accompanied by Boston's trademark "wall of guitars" sound. In any case, Hugo exhibits enormous talent with his piercing and soulful tenor that bolsters generally solid AOR material. Obvious highlights include the anthemic "Can't Stop Loving You" (my personal fave) and "Tell It to My Heart". As for other anthems or rockers, only "I Will Be Waiting" and, with its dead-on Emmett impersonation, "Magic Power", rise above mediocrity. On the mellower side, "Anyone in Love", one of the album's top 2-3 tracks, is a moody, almost 70s-ish tune, featuring crystal-clear harmony vocals, while "Our Love Will Be There" is a great, soulful acoustic ballad. As for the remaining tracks, most fall flat, except for the opening verse of "Blues for You" where Hugo adeptly apes SteveP. The sole glaring weakness of this album is the lyrics, which are incredibly cliche
and just plain moronic at times. Quite a shame, really, because the 7th grade writing level substantially detracts from ToE's overall worth. Someone should sit Hugo down and teach him how to distinguish between elegant simplicity (e.g., Journey) and stupidity.

02/10/00: Matias Devit - matutedevit hotmail.com
Rating: 80
Great album!
"Can't stop loving you" is one of the A.O.R. songs of the year.
I hope Hugo someday 'd come to Argentina.

23/09/00: shawn pelata - spelata@maitland-smith.com
Rating: 88
i was an open skyz fan already, and had not yet heard valentine when i bought "time on earth". the similarity to steve perry was evident on open skyz, but not as obvious and exact as on "ToE". it really is uncanny how much he sounds like perry. even more so than chalfant or even augeri. but what about the album? this is a VERY GOOD lite-AOR record. somewhere between "raised on radio" and "for the love of strange medicine". hugo's voice fits this style perfectly. solid songwriting, strong melodies. my only complaint is the production/mix. absolutely soaked in effects. almost puts this "fog" on everything, and kinda takes away from the "punch". of course, he may not have wanted "punch" given the style of music...but "can't stop loving you", "fine" and even "tell it to my heart" could have used that 'extra something' to push them over the rock edge. "last one more time" and "blues for you" are excellent ballads, as good as you'll find anywhere. the cover of triumph's "magic power" is enjoyable, but not needed. the title track, "time on earth" is a sweeping, ambiet tune with cool polyrythmic drumming. all in all, a solid album.

18/09/00: John Kontas - Bacdo97@aol.com
Rating: 88
If you are even slightly interested/intrigued by Hugo and these reviews..DO NOT HESITATE ANY LONGER! A solid effort. You cannot go wrong with this cd. I am so glad I purchased this album!! It just keeps getting beter and better with each listen. It's been playing in the car for a week now with no end in sight. Do yourself a favor and get Time on earth now! You won't regret it
John/Chicago, IL

03/08/00: Cooky - cooky@cookyrj.idps.co.uk
Rating: 88
For the past 25 years I have restricted most of my music listening to AOR, you name the band & I've probably got a vinyl
LP, MC or CD hanging around the house somewhere ! With the recent release of the Two Fires CD, there were many
references in the reviews to Hugo. Having never listened to this guy (with his many comparisons to Steve Perry, Kevin
Chalfant et al) I decided to get hold of his CD's. I purchased both S/T & ToE from the 'Now & Then' sale for 5 each which
included p&p (www.nowandthen.co.uk). Having played both these CD's solidly for the past week, I'd like to make the
following comments. Hugo S/T is an awesome album, high production, quality vocals, solid guitar work from Vinny Burns
(I remember seeing Vinny in a local covers band in a small village outside Manchester pre Dare days - he was
outstanding then !!). Standout tracks for me - Walk Away & Crazy; superb AOR. My only criticism - sometimes the heaviness of some
of the tracks overshadows Hugo's excellent vocals.However, this is a quality CD & was worth every penny of the 5 that I
spent on it !!!
Time on Earth is a very different beast altogether & it is quite apparent, having listened to the two albums back to back, the
difference that Gary Hughes made. Less power, subtler songs; an altogether softer approach. I think this album is more
indicative of Hugo's own personal style and musical preferences and as such should be taken on its own merits. There are
some stunning pieces of vocal work on this album, which are now at the fore, rather than blended in with the guitars & drums
etc. High points - 'Can't stop loving you' (classic, straightfoward AOR), 'Last one more time' (a totally blow you away power
ballad), 'Blues for you' (this track is so Steve Perry like in both vocals and song style that it's eerie) & the best track on the
album 'This love song' (excellent mid-tempo AOR). Which of the two do I prefer - neither, there are highs and lows on both
CD's and it depends upon your own musical tastes. If you prefer straight ahead rockier AOR then S/T, if you like softer,
more ballady AOR then Time on Earth, I however think you need both in your collection as they are different enough from
each other to be liked on their own standing. I've cheated & made a tape for the car that contains my favourites from the
two albums. If you haven't heard this guy (like I hadn't), get over to the Now & Then web site & pick up both CD's for 10
before the stocks run out. If you like classic AOR of the Journey/Storm style, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
I just hope they get him playing at 'Gods' this year.

17/05/00: Doug - DClark27@Juno.com
Rating: 98
First, having been a fan of AOR for so long, and missing it when the '90's came in, I have to say that Hugo is a much welcomed musician...and desrves his ranks among his peers, the likes of Perry, Chalfant, Jamison, and the likes. I bought Hugo's S/T debut, and was just overwhelmed by what this guy could accomplish. It's a pity that so many people get accustomed to a certain style, that we get a little "on edge" when the artist wants to vary that style a bit.
Second, I loved this CD...I feel it showed more of a personal side of Hugo, and opened us up to the emotional side that music can bring. Hugo is very good at his craft..dare I say that I should be allowed to truly critique him, as I could never do what he can do. His voice flows, and the moody ballads are wonderful. This is a great listening CD, and the only disappointing aspect of it is simply this: Why isn't he more popular than he is?? This guy can make the music of today seem miserably weak.
I look forward to Hugo's future releases, and could only hope that one day, Perry, Chalfant, and Hugo meet up in a recording studio, sit down to write........

17/05/00: Todd - Roboto83@aol.com
Rating: 90
I bought this CD afater reading Andrew's review. All i can say after listening to this Cd for 3 months now it has stuck with me.I had to have more so i then got his 97 solo release and was blown away with that also. Right now i think the first one is more my style and simply jams. But TOE is great work! The only song on here i haven't got into yet is the title track. From "can't stop loving you" thru "magic power" i can listen straight thru and pretty much sing the words to all the songs. Like most people that post here say if your any kind of AOR fan or fan of Journey type music get this and what the hell get his first one also! They are definately worth it and much better then the crap Rock n' Roll U.S.A. is shoving down everyone's throats!

29/04/00: R Queen - gelboy4@aol.com
Rating: 90
I'll respectfully disagree with those who say this album is not as good as his debut release. Sure, the debut rocks harder, but alot of the songs sound the same, and it's the kind of "rock" that got me excited at 17. Don't get me wrong, I like the debut, but TOE is a step forward and IMO, a much better listening experience. The music on his newest release is more mature sounding, and each song has it's own varied and individual "signature", unlike the debut where all the guitar riffs blur together after awhile. Also, Hugo steers clear of his nasal "wailing" which popped up way too prominently on his debut (and made some of it sound kind of cheesy). His vocals soar here, but, like the songs, is more varied in style and exhibits more texture and growth. Alot like the "raspy" version of Perry on TBF, but smoother and still able to go higher when needed. I hope JRNY's new CD is this good, and am of the present opinion that HUGO would have been a smarter replacement for Steve Perry, regardless of Augeri's stage presence and obvious charm. Hugo simply hits the notes Augeri cannot, and any JRNY/Steve Perry fan should absolutely seek out this album. HUGO TOE rating:90
HUGO rating: 85

13/04/00: Susumu - sfuku@d7.dion.ne.jp
Rating: 68
This album is a bit of let down for me. Hugo's voice is no doubt
A-one class. It is true that he can be comparable to great rock vocalists such as Steve Perry and Jimi Jamison. But songwriting did not catch up with his great voice. Can't Stop Loving You is not bad track to start the album. Tell It To My Heart is the best track of this album. Last One More Chance and Fine could have become masterpiece tracks. Last...is a good example to show you the reason for this rating. First impression is not bad but this song should have been cut to about four minutes. He has to learn that redundant repetition only make the impression of the song weak as a whole. Blues for You is my second picks and Magic Touch is not bad either. Overall this album has full of OK to above average songs but lack striking tracks enough to allow repeated listens. Carrying Journey like sound may be advantage now that Steve Perry has gone. But it also has the risk of being compared with great works of Journey. I suggest he work with excellent producers such as Curt Cuomo, Keith Olsen and Ron Nevison who can bring out best part of this talented voice.
The bottom line:he sure has got a great voice but he needs more technical support.

09/04/00: Mike Leigh - rockkid@altavista.com
Rating: 90
The melodicrock.com expresses my sentiments exactly.
Hugo is in excellent form here. Though I would have liked
a little more punch, and balls this is an excellent additionto an AOR lovers collection, (especially compared to almost everything released in the US in the last 7years).
Excellent CD Hugo, hope to hear more from you very soon!!

29/03/00: Aaron Quinton - asquinton@mindspring.com
Rating: 85
The full blown review from Melodicrock.com pretty much nails my feelings about this record. I was completely floored with the original Hugo CD. This is the best record I've heard in 10 years, what a super record. It completely blew the doors off of Trial by Fire. Journey would be lucky to put out a record as good as the original Hugo CD.

Time On Earth is quite a bit different from the original debut CD. Its a little softer with less depth on harmony vocals (less layering) than the original. I'm not sure what impact Gary Hughes and Vinny Burnes had on the original record but I sure missed them on this one. Or maybe it's Hugo just dialing his style a litte more. Time On Earth, as written above, is very much like a Steve Perry solo project, except better. I'm more of a harder rockin Journey fan and I liked the debut CD better since it rocked harder than Time On Earth. Time On Earth is detuned somewhat and a little softer. I was hoping for a little harder guitar as on the debut CD and some more rockers but it was not to be. This record is a fine piece of work but its a little softer than the orginal. It was still worth every penny and Journey fan should have a copy.

This one is still better than 95% of the bull shit played in the states today so thumbs up to Hugo. Hopefully it won't be long before his next record is released and .... let's hope it more closely duplicates the personality of the debut CD.

Thanks,

Aaron

13/03/00: Steve - Dirtywhiteboy78
Rating: 8
Great cd.have to admit i bought this cuz i was hungry for more journey type music and everyone has got somekind of steve perry comparison with this guy. whether it be his sound or his looks i don't know? but i wanted to see how the guy pulled off triumph's magic power. quite well i must say. in fact at first i thought he sounded more like rik emmett then he does perry! but after listening to this cd for about a week and a half now, the songs started stickin' and now i'd say he resembles both of those singers with a little kevin chalfant to add with it.bottom line this album is great! my favorites as of now are "anyone in love" and "can't stop loving you". because of this i had to get his debut cd and agree with andrew that was the album journey should have recorded!(i still love TBF though!)also anyone looking for good prices on these cd's or other aor rock should check out the hottracks link on this page! i got both hugo cd's for under $20.00 each and delivery was fast! THANK GOD FOR AOR AND CLASSIC ROCK MUSIC!

10/03/00: Lance - st_hegefeld@tarleton.edu
Rating: 95
Wow. Excellent AOR. Why doesn't this stuff get over to the U.S. more? I shelled out 30 bucks for this one. Well worth it though. On to Hugo now. If you like Journey, with a little bit of The Storm, you'll love Hugo, Time on Earth. And if you like catchy rythmes, smooth melodies, and "from the heart" ballads, get this cd.

07/03/00: Robert - bstupay@btent.com
Rating: 90
This is a great AOR album with everything AORsters love: big hooks, lots of melody, soaring keyboards, edgy guitars, and of course that voice! Hugo's voice, eerily echoing Steve Perry's, takes on a life of its own on this disc. Moody ballads like Last One More Time and Blues For You showcase Hugo's voice at its finest. The killer axe work on Tell it To My Heart and F.I.N.E. tell us that Hugo better not lose Vinny Burns as a friend! Even the "dead-on" cover of Triumph's Magic Power leaves us wondering why Hugo (Valentine or Open Skies) never broke big. The songwriting here is top notch. The album provokes emotions not captured on any of Hugo's previous efforts. The only thing missing from the CD is "high-budget" production. It seems that Gary Hughes (who produced Hugo's 1997 release) is the link that is missing here. The first disc had a crisp, fresh sounding production. Something Time On Earth definitely lacks. But that is minor...this release along with Hugo's self-titled disc certainly fill the enormous void left in Journey/Steve Perry' absence. So, until the new Journey album is release later this year (?) or Steve decides to record again, this is the next best thing (and in some cases better!). Highly recommended.


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