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Negus - Dare to Dream CD (album) cover




Crossover Prog

3.30 | 9 ratings

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4 stars Dare To Dream a well packaged cd with an 8 page booklet containing a brief story of the making of Dare To Dream in Steve's own words along with His lyrics and track listings. Many people would think as Steve Negus was the drummer for Saga for some 26 years he would release a drumming orientated cd....That couldn't be further from the truth..well....barring one song where Steve and friends get to show you just what can be done while having some fun on the drumset. Ooops.... Did I mention the rest of his cd just hums with track after track of well crafted and performed songs.Steve plays a lot of the instruments himself, and not only drums, and through his experiences and knowledge has also brought together a band of excellent performers to help him, including his Bassist friend Ian Nielsen and another good friend (Daryl) Jim Gilmour from Saga to play keyboards on some of the tracks,and of course his singer friend Al Langlade,who performed his parts 1000 miles away from Steve and yes it all came together perfectly. This is what happens when you Dare To Dream..

Track one:- Lust' a single arpeggiod keyboard sets the mood only briefly as the mood swings to and fro with the opposing strums of guitar like a clock tic tocking in the chimes,which in this case the twin guitar solo's of Mr Severn leading you into a calm passage to set the mood for Mr Langlade's vocal story.An what a story as he describes Lust almost as a real person...the master..the sinner...the saint.The warnings are clear as the music drives along keeping pace well to Mr Langlade's story and suddenly Steve's drumfill takes you into a new side of the song the keyboard and guitars accenting off the solid pulsing bass playing of Mr Nielsen bring you into... almost an argument.. of what's right and what's wrong ,using playoff of guitars and keyboards in a dramatic passage to emphasize the story further.

The playing is brilliant.. guitars and minimoog playing off each other while the rhythm section provides a good solid backdrop which takes you back to the opening passages of Lust and just to emphasize things further Mr Langlade brings back the great sing along chorus to end the song. All in all a strong rock song with plenty of light and shade and that guitar work of Mr Severn is just unforgetable.

Track two:- Catch My Fall acoustic guitar setting the mood strongly as Mr Langlade tells you this story.A true story for many of us, and to have a friend or loved one there to help when we call on them.A passionate song with true meaning......the chorus says it all..Lift Me Up,Send Me On My Way. A smorgasboard of instruments playing to a solid backdrop takes you into a halftime keyboard passage and here..Steve has cleverly introduced another of his friends to play flute on this beautifully accented passage which takes you into another bold chorus,flute still clearly playing along but only till guitars reply with solo intent,And Mr Langlade's chorus and guitar play off lead you to a clean stop...But the flute and the keyboards have the last word on this song. Again a well thought out song with plenty of colour ....Loved the flutes of Mr Willett.

Track three:- Dare To Dream this being the title track of Steve's cd starts strongly again with acoustic guitar and NICE funky bass line.Mr Langlade tells the story well on this track too with lots to sing about He sets the mood intensely almost becoming the lyric he's singing as the piano follows him into the chorus Together We'll Ask The Questions....Together We'll Dare To Dream and again back to that Nice funky bass and cool sounds of the intro section and a repeat performance which now takes you to a playoff of Bass and Keyboards accented strongly by Steve's powerfull counter attacks suddenly the keyboard speaks up to dramatically say his part before the guitar chimes in and they counter play each other beautifully taking you back to the chorus lines and finishing on a those poignant words We Dare To Dream

Another Gem of a song..That funky Bass line and Steve's use of China cymbals through out were just as remarkable as the Chorus's

Track four:- Nightmare building briefly on a nice funky keyboard and bass pattern to merge into the the story behind this song as Mr Langlade sings to you and is answered back almost from a dream sequence in the background as this scene plays out suddenly breaking into a bridge... the change of key, like a door opening into another dream sequence and another change of pace and accented into the chorus It's your Nightmare Mr Langlade sings with harmony's driving home the story further and taking you back to the intro pattern of before, the strong rolling bass lines of Mr Nielsen punctuated beautifully by funky guitar rhythms and Steve's driving cymbal accents again weaving and winding back into the bridge pattern which again leads you into a long chorus to end the song with a nice run up and finishing just short....leaving you to ask for more. A well thought out track with plenty of musicality,funky rhythms and solid beats. A good story too. Not to forget the excellent Keyboards of Mr Matt Whale

Track five:- I Rest My Case A drummers song...well why not just one. Here Steve has enlisted a few more of his friends ..both drummers Tony Furtado and Jack Pedler to do the tribal rhythms and in the back ground you can hear the fun these guy's had performing this very live sounding instrumental. Laden with what seems like an arsenal of every type of drum ever made they play and counter play each other into a frenzy and yet, build it to the perfect ending, and one must wonder.. what this performance was visually like.

great beats,great rhythms,great drummers

Track six:- No Heaven,No Hell the opening of this track must have been fun, working in the long triplet drum beats of Steve's introduction and Mr Langlade's vocal in,all working fantastically straight into the driving Chorus changing again, and punctuated by another different sounding keyboard pattern and a big key change making it sound very dramatic indeed as we flow into the first verse and Mr Langlade weaves the story with ease punctuated by stabbing guitar We're Like A Virus as the band pounds away and the keyboards and guitar accent in counter rhythms again we hear another story...more warnings Just Beyond The Horizon,could we all be too late?? I think not..Mr Langlade tells the story well on this song and if you listen you might just take note.The crunchy guitars are another reminder as they lead us into a bridge pattern with almost an S.O.S. keyboard playing in the background before again back to another verse however this time the vocal lines are punctuated by crunchy guitars as Mr Langlade again weaves another story and taking us into another driving chorus and that somewhat...eerily haunting keyboard passage which could be a telephone ringing....but no- ones picking up. Steve takes over from here with a very punctuated drum fill into another punctuated guitar riff and they pound away abrubtly Steve flamboyantly brings things to a halt..the snare drum hits still echoing as Mr Langlade strongly returns with the chorus section to finish the song. A very powerful statement is being made here...But I'll let you work it out. Strong playing overall..loved the Keys!

Track seven:- As I Am on first listen ..almost countryish intro with another funky bass line as Mr Langlade tells us the story behind this song.Interesting mix of instruments blending well a lovely half time feel with no drums till verse 2, arriving just in time to help the song flow into the beautiful ballad it has now become,I must mention the bass playing in this track especially Hums..Mr Nielsen has really helped to create a soothing feel and not just played the notes holding on to them and conjuring little musical spirits that dance around the song..augmented by some beautiful guitar and harmonized singing taking you further into another stirring passage,the haunting keyboards/guitar and nearly orchestra, lull you into a quiet place and stopping briefly your brought back again to the haunting sounds and vocal of this beautiful track the bridge change well placed changing the mood and feel again with more great singing from Mr Langlade and we're back to that feel....It's sooo haunting and soothing, and yet again we're lifted by Mr Langlade's vocal,taking you to another place As I Am...and he replies We Don't Need Words For Conversation, leading you into a brief change of mood and another bridge with voice playing off voice and building to the final peak,when suddenly the guitar solo arrives and... What A Solo..the most defined and longest on Steve's cd yet.A reminder of just how gifted a player Mr Severn was....He will be Missed I'm sure.

Wow!!! DRAMATIC...beautiful...a true masterpiece....My Personal Favorite.

Track eight:- One Man's Army starting again in half time with just keyboards,guitar and vocal with the very occasional drum beat to provide the flowing build.Lots of words in this story as Mr Langlade tells easily describing it's purpose...Who's Gonna Crush The Demons,The Haunting...Who Will Create A Castle From Ashes. Words you will hold on to and remember This One Man's Army...into a feel change now and it's building to a complete change.It's almost like the band is angry and gonna fight back with big crash chords and brazen accents all the while Mr Langlade enforces further the story while leading you into another guitar solo, the rest of the band crunching away through further chord changes while Mr Severn again provides us with another brilliant solo and providing a perfect end to One Man's Army.

Another well thought out piece of music..great drumming from The Lord Of Drums and that guitar maestro....Wow!

Track nine:- Body And Soul Swirly keyboards and flute set the mood fantastically for Steve's dramatic drum fill and rhythmic patterns leading you into this song.Chugging away like a train,solid and punctuated by stabbing guitars and China cymbals we hear now...a different story Mr Langlade tells..Unified Towards A Common Goal...guitar chimming in almost like a medievil swing feel,only briefly as we're back to the opening feel with guitars crashing in time with China's,but only bars away as change is imminent and sure enough a guitar solo leads us into another feel as Mr Severn this time, conjures little musical genie's that bounce off his fingerboard as he plays another unforgettable solo and leading you into a changing bridge pattern to chorus's and another brief guitar solo following the tune of the chorus and more...

Well executed...Some great crash chords and those guitar solo's all so different.Great vocals too and don't forget Mr Elliot's flute intro.

Track ten:- Satellites Keyboards and guitar weave and interweave to provide a nice backdrop to this track leading into a soft stop for Mr Nielsen to fill with a nice bass line and start the song again.half time and lots of washy keys/guitar while Mr Langlade tells us the story of our little satellites..We Find Excuses..We Have Alibis he sings all the while the band providing the perfect feel and again guitar and keys play off each other through the verses and lead to another subtle key change for the bridge to enter and here we have it this time,guitar and keyboards playing in a perfect harmony to each other while the rest of the band follow them through this passage and a brief pause,Steve bringing them all back with his quick drum fills again and again the band following and back again into another chorus or two with the band finishing the chorus's of the last remaining bars,but Steve hasn't finished yet adding few more accents with the band just to emphasize this beautiful song before we hear the trail off keyboard passage to end and a little tinge of guitar..

A little Gem of a song..unusual use of timings on timings again,but still retaining a nice strong feel and a nice message too.

Track eleven:- Epitaph For Mark Mark Severn a true master of his instrument...I loved every minute of his unforgettable contribution to this Cd. this instrumental guitar piece has been well crafted and played eloquently by Mr Kott and dedicated to Mr Severn.

This Review originally written Friday December 14th 2007 by Chris Otter New Zealand Drummer

Crislis | 4/5 |


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