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Journey - Dream, After Dream (OST) CD (album) cover




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3.21 | 60 ratings

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4 stars A real stylistic departure this. Recorded and released in 1980, 'Dream, After Dream' was not a studio album but the soundtrack to the obscure Japanese movie 'Yume, Yume, No ato' and one of the least well-known productions of Journey's otherwise stellar career. Still a year-or-so from releasing their 1981 smash-hit 'Escape', 'Dream, After Dream' was seemingly designed for two reasons: to strengthen the group's ties with their ever-growing Japanese audience who had been emphatically supporting the group since their mid- seventies, pre-Steve Perry days; and to let the musicians branch out into more musically challenging areas without damaging their commercial street cred back home. As an album, 'Dream, After Dream' very much harks back to the style of the American outfits early progressive phase, and has more in common with albums such as 1975's self-titled debut and 'Look Into The Future' than it does with the likes of breakthrough hit 'Infinity' and predecessor 'Evolution'. Of course, it's still recognisably a soundtrack piece, with a strong orchestral flavour backing Gregg Rolie's dreamy keyboards and the unusually understated guitars of Neal Schon. With only three tracks - 'Destiny', 'Sandcastles' and 'Little Girl' - featuring vocals, there isn't too much for Steve Perry to do, so this is a much more instrumentally ambitious affair, for the most eschewing the slick AOR style that had garnered the group such commercial success during the tail-end of the 1970s and showing yet again that there is so much more to Journey than sentimental balladry and streamlined pop-rock. There's also a whimsical, almost melancholic edge to much of 'Dream, After Dream', a mood heightened by the fact that it would prove to be the final album to feature founding member Rolie, a multi-talented player whose compositional abilities always favoured a more experimental approach. Fortunately, it's a worthy swansong to his time in the group, and in technical terms this is undoubtedly the most proficient and adventurous Journey release since 1977's underrated 'Next', giving a brief look at how the globe-conquering group may have turned out if Steve Perry hadn't joined the fold two years earlier. For those fans who have always preferred the trio of progressive-flavoured albums from Journey's early days, this should prove an exciting treat. 'Dream, After Dream' is an atmospheric, almost elegiac album featuring a richer, fuller sound that focuses much more on complex instrumentation and mood than it does on crafting simple pop songs. Younger Journey fans may find it all a bit ponderous at times - the pace on the whole is generally rather slow bar the occasional guitar-or- keyboard solo from Schon or Rolie - yet this album wasn't designed for the groups mainstream fanbase. Harking back to their excellent early albums, this is the sound of Journey in progressive rock mode and a reminder of their innate musical talents. Highly recommended.


stefro | 4/5 |


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