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Chris Ousey: Dream Machine
Chris Ousey - Dream Machine CD Album Review

Chris Ousey: Dream Machine

Melodic Hard Rock/AOR
4.0/5.0

Chris Ousey is both a legend and a veteran of the melodic hard rock genre. Gigs galore from Virginia Wolf to Heartland to the more recent Snakecharmer, Ousey is a requested and solid vocalist. He returns with his second solo album, Dream Machine, once more on the the UK label, Escape Music.

Chris Ousey Band Photo

Chris Ousey

But, having given this album several spins, I'm not sure it's entirely a Chris Ousey album. I'll explain that statement in a moment. Suffice to say, as a vocalist Ousey remains in fine form, with his raspy, yet always melodic voice and presentation. Additionally, he has an ear for good music and the proper collaboration with solid musicians to make great tunes. Once more he wrote songs with writer, producer (though he didn't produce this album), and guitarist Tommy Denander. Also drummer Lars Criss arranged and mixed the songs and album. Again, you're only as good as your partners, and the result is a very fine album of AOR melodic hard rock. And the album really rocks. Honestly, there's not a single "bad" or "filler" song here. But.

Here he goes. But what? I think this is a Tommy Denander album with Chris Ousey supplying the vocals. Why? Simply, because the music is far more present and forward than Ousey's vocals. My standard for vocals and vocal arrangements within AOR melodic rock will always be a Journey album. You will always hear Steve Perry above and leading the music or, perhaps to be more fair, with Schon's guitar lines. Certainly I hear Ousey, but I don't hear him that easily. He's mostly swept away in the arrangements. There are some notable exceptions. Gone Long Gone is one, Another Runaway another, and also Tear It All Down, yet only because the songs have some tamer moments. Remember. I said this album rocks. Yep.

The melodic hard rock within Dream Machine is ambitious, direct, and uniquely guitar-centered. Perhaps the artist and album should be, Tommy Denander's Dream Machine, featuring Chris Ousey on vocals. Just thinking out loud here. Otherwise, for the glory and grandeur of AOR melodic hard rock music, Chris Ousey's Dream Machine is spot on. Recommended.

Chris Ousey - Another Runaway


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In Short

The melodic hard rock within Dream Machine is ambitious, direct, and uniquely guitar-centered. Perhaps the artist and album should be, Tommy Denander's Dream Machine, featuring Chris Ousey on vocals. Just thinking out loud here. Otherwise, for the glory and grandeur of AOR melodic hard rock music, Chris Ousey's Dream Machine is spot on. Recommended.

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