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Valentine Soul Salvation Indie
· Produced By: Valentine

· Running Time: 44.27

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released:

· Musical Style: AOR

· Links: Valentine
91%
Songs: 96%
Sound: 85%
Two Hugo fronted albums in the same year? Must be a good year! AOR fans rejoice as 2008 continues to deliver great music from all facets of the scene.
AOR has been somewhat overshadowed in recent years, but hits back in 2008 and Valentine add to the crop of must have CDs.
Valentine 2008 follows the musical path of Hugo the solo artist. This is to my ears more or less a new Hugo solo album stylistically. The original valentine album was a little tougher and a little heavier.
This 11 track album is filled with glorious AOR anthems and mid-tempo ballads which the band has written over the years – both new and old tunes.
The two Hugo releases this year (Ramos/Hugo & Valentine) make interesting comparisons.
The Ramos Hugo album could have used some more defined chorus hooks (which this album has plenty of) and this album could benefit from a better and tighter production (which Ramos Hugo had).
Of the two albums I'll listen to this one more I think, just due to the nature of the songs and how catchy they are.
Ramos/Hugo was a grower…this one is an instant good fun record and more in keeping with Hugo the solo artist as we have come to love him.
Not all of these songs are new, but the whole album was recorded in 2008. Yes, it could have used a bigger and better production; especially with the drum sound (isn't that always the way?).
But I love these songs. The hands-in-the-air classic 80s sounds of Dream On The Way, Soul Salvation (great vocals!), Wait and the stand out anthem Every Time You Go Away are all wonderful.
On a moodier note, Pickin' Up The Pieces delivers a tougher sound as does One More Chance with it's lush chorus and great harmonies.
I'll Be The One is more acoustic based and has an almost country tinge to it. I think it offers a nice change of pace and showcases a different side of Hugo's vocals.
Love Is All We're After is a kind of moody wistful pop rock ballad and an interesting way to close the album. Ballads are of course included and Love Song is one of the better for the year, I really like this one and it features another big Steve Perry like performance.
Pages is a slower moodier track and features another class vocal.
The Bottom Line
Great songs rule the day. I can forgive the less polished sound in light of some tasteful, commercial and old-school sounding AOR. Hugo sounds great and it is brilliant to see the guys in Valentine back and working this underrated band back into the scene. One for fans of the straight forward traditional Journey-esque AOR.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Valentine
· Soul Salvation

Line Up:
· Hugo: Vocals
· Adam Holland: Guitars
· Mike Morales: Drums
· Gerard Zappa: Bass
· Craig Pullman: Keyboards

Essential For Fans Of:
· Hugo
· Valentine
· Journey
Track Listing
· Dream On The Way *
· Pickin' Up The Pieces
· Soul Salvation *
· Interlude
· Love Song *
· One More Chance *
· Pages
· Every Time You Go Away *
· I'll Be The One
· Wait *
· Love Is All We're After

--*Best Tracks



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