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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Roger Voudouris - Radio Dream

Name: Roger Voudouris
Album: Radio Dream
Year: 1979
Style: Rock
Similar Bands: Stephen Stills, Billy Joel, Elton John, Hall & Oates, Michael Bolton, Air Supply
One-Word Review: 80's Theme factory
Based Out Of: Sacramento, Ca
Label: Warner Bros. Records
Radio Dream - Cover & Record
Radio Dream - Back & Record
Radio Dream (1979)
  1. Get Used to It 3:00
  2. Just What It Takes 3:26
  3. Does Our Love (Depend on the Night) 3:11
  4. We Can't Stay Like This Forever 3:11 /
  5. Radio Dream 3:37
  6. Anything from Anyone 3:45
  7. We Only Dance "Cause We Have To 4:02
  8. The Next Time Around 3:18
  9. Reprise 2:25

Album Rating (1-10): 5.5

Members & Other Bands:
Roger Voudouris - Vocals, Guitar (Loud As Hell Rockers)
Michael Omartian - Producer, Keys, String Arrangement (Rhythm Heritage)
Leland Sklar - Bass  (James Taylor)
David Kemper - Drums (Jerry Garcia Band, Bob Dylan Band, Focus)
Jay Graydon - Rhythm Guitar (Al Jarreau, Airplay, JaR)
Randy Brecker - Flugelhorn, Trumpet (Blood, Sweat & Tears, Dreams, Brecker Bros.)
Michael Brecker - Sax (Brecker Bros. Dreams)
Stormie Omartian - Vox
Myrna Matthews - Vox
Marti McCall - Vox
John Guess - Engineer & Remix
Gary Goodman - Second Engineer
Bernie Grundman - Mastering
Assa Drori - Concert Master
Bruce Cohn - Management
David Gest - Publicity
David Alexander - Photography
Kosh - Design & Art Direction

Unknown-Ness: I’ve never heard of this artist. But I assume from the album, that it is just going to be singer/songwriter pop songs with a generic appeal. Occasionally, a singer/songwriter will come along that rises above the tedium, but you never know until you try. 1979 is a good year to give a try, and at least the album looks like it has a little dark edge to it.

Album Review: Apparently Roger passed away back in 2003, and had a less than stellar career, despite working with some great musicians on this and other albums. His greatest chart achievement comes with this album’s opener, which reached #21 back in ’79.

“Get Used to It” starts like a theme song to any 80’s buddy sit com (Perfect Strangers/Great American Hero), so it was cutting edge for the time, featuring an Elton John / Billy Joel style synthesized piano. Even his vocals remind me a little of Billy Joel. The range of his vocals is illustrated very well in the track. Lots of time changes keep the song interesting, but continue to build and move the song forward.
“Just What It Takes” starts with a more aggressive guitar and drum combo, supported by a power pop guitar. The vocals start with a Hall & Oates night time lounge style. Vocals kind of remind me of Michael Bolton. The power pop guitar keeps coming back, and is pretty catchy, reminding me of the recently reviewed Nick Gilder album.
“Does Our Love (Depend on the Night)” is an 80’s ballad, synth keys supporting the middle school slow dance staple. The chorus rocks the atmosphere with a bouncy beat, momentarily making it awkward to continue slow dancing. It does quickly slips back into hands on hips & shoulders mode. After the second chorus, the song continues with the more energetic melody for an extended interlude. The song shows not much sign of heading back to the ladies choice until the last few notes of the fade out.
“We Can't Stay Like This Forever” is another upbeat, power pop chord changing song, full of energy and  good, bouncy melodies. The song picks up speed until it ends with a skipping, repetitions, emotional disco beat that exhausts itself with a breakdown of all but the bass/drum rhythm section

“Radio Dream” starts out just like that: dreamy and calm. It’s an adult AM radio song that nears on R&B. There is even smooth jazz sax added to further enhance the stereotype. And it fades out as the chorus is repeated.
“Anything from Anyone” feels like an Air Supply song at the start with the piano. But the vocals are more earnest and human. The song slowly glides along, like a strong memory. The breakdown featuring disco violins supporting metal electric guitars, making for a schizophrenic instrumental section.
“We Only Dance ‘Cause We Have To” is a less poppy version of the album opener, with sax, and similar tv theme song appeal mixed with a Hall & Oates album filler quality.
“The Next Time Around” is a slow male vocal song, that I’d imagine to have overlapping, fading in and out head shots of the singer crooning at different angles. And a light blue background. There was a lot of promise on the first side; this one definitely drags down the album as a whole. More Michael Bolton vocal examples present themselves here. It is calm and relaxing, but is a product of the late 70’s / early 80’s AM AOR radio. It sounds like a religious song.
“Reprise” features near-Christmas like synth keyboard playing, similar to Get Used to It & “Dance” it transitions to a prog-renaissance wedding, like the light breakdown section of Carry On My Wayward Son.

Stand-Out Track: Get Used To It

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