Stan Bush - Dare To Dream

DaveTDaveT Buenos Aires, Argentina
edited November 2020 in year-2020

Longtime AOR veteran Stan Bush delivers his fourteenth album and a goodie it is too, though his persistent use of the term 'dream' will have many wondering why?

Stan Bush - Dare To Dream
ARTIST: Stan Bush
ALBUM: Dare To Dream
LABEL: L.A. Records
YEAR: 2020

LINEUP: Stan Bush - vocals * Holger Fath - guitar, bass, keyboards * Craig Yamek - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Born To Fight * 02 Dare To Dream * 03 The Times Of Your Life * 04 A Dream Of Love * 05 The 80's * 06 Live And Breathe * 07 Heat Of Attack * 08 Dream Big * 09 True Believer * 10 Never Give Up * 11 Home

RATING: Score=80%
WEBLINKS: Official Website | FB Link


Fourteenth solo album from the Orlando, Fla.-born, longtime LA resident AOR ace Stan Bush. His impressive resume includes an Emmy award on the Best Original Song category for his track 'Til I Was Loved By You' in 1997, his song 'Capture The Dream' featured in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and of course his pièce de résistance: 'The Touch'.

'The Touch' featured in 1986's 'Transformers: The Movie' as well as in 2018's 'Bumblebee', the latest film on that saga. In 2014, Bush was inducted into the Transformers Hall Of Fame. That song was also featured in the movie 'Boogie Nights' and in the series 'Chuck', 'American Dad', and 'The Goldbergs', as well as in the video games 'Guitar Hero' and 'Saints Row IV'.

Let's not forget his outstanding releases, the self-titled solo album from 1983 and 1987's 'Stan Bush & Barrage'; both reviewed here at Glorydazemusic.

Stan Bush and Holger Fath 2020

The Songs

Bush's music and lyrics usually convey a sense of forward-thinking attitude, hope and dreams. This album is no exception, just take a look at the song titles. Production at first seemed as a little subdued. However, after a few listens you realize the drums sound like real drums, the guitars and vocals are placed where they should be and the sound is bright and punchy without unnecessary compression.

Then, there's Stan's voice. Customary, with age comes the loss of vocal harmonics. At 67, if the singer lost anything in that field he more than offsets it with clarity, perfect tuning and power. The songs are everything an AOR fan can ask for, minus a few duds I'll expand upon in the review. One are the lyrics, slightly repetitive regarding subjects, like fighting for one's life. (Note: there's even a mention to the 'Danger Zone' on 'True Believer').

For 'Born To Fight', Bush teams up once again with composer Lenny Macaluso ('The Touch'). The result is one of the hits of the album to these ears, along with 'The 80's'. An epic, tailor-made for soundtrack song, AOR galloping included. No doubts why it was chosen for Netflix's Anime series.

The title track pleases with its classic midtempo AOR approach while the reflective 'The Times Of Your Life' includes a trademark-Bush, superb refrain. The power ballad 'A Dream Of Love' follows, borrowing Foreigner's 'Waiting For A Girl Like You' vibe in the synths. Yet, a very good song.

'The 80's' has hit written all over it, and while the guitar arpeggios, power chords and pieces of the chorus have many points in common with Def Leppard's 'Animal', it really captures the 80's spirit as only few songs can these days. Where most bands would sound forced when trying to achieve that, Bush sounds absolutely natural.

'Live And Breathe' is a piano ballad in which the singer's delivery is astonishing. Few privileged can sing with such passion. 'Heat Of Attack' openly borrows the verses and bits of Survivor's 'Burning Heart' riff. Another good epic, soundtrack kind of song. Unfortunately, the resemblance with Rocky IV's OST main song is too much for me.

No signs of wear near the end of the album as the synth-driven, vintage 80's song 'Dream Big' is remarkable. 'True Believer' revives the early Foreigner formula of staccato keys and crunchy guitars. The power of Bush's voice and his inflections are magnificent.

The catchy 'Never Give Up' brought to my mind both Tina Turner's 'The Best' and mid 80's, synth-heavy Van Halen. Finally, the introspective acoustic 'Home' rounds off the album.

In Summary

Look no further than 'Dare To Dream' to keep your spirits high in this 2020, for it delivers a much-needed message of hope surrounded by the kind of music we all love: classic AOR with capital letters.

No fillers here, only a few borrowed ideas and the fact that it sticks to a well-known formula without daring to risk (yes, pun intended) prevent me from giving it a higher rating. In the end, let's not intellectualize, but enjoy instead the music of the one and only Stan Bush, that's as good as it gets for the purist AOR fan.

Streaming Links

Amazon Music Unlimited
Apple Music


Born To Fight

The 80's

True Believer

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    DaveTDaveT Buenos Aires, Argentina
    edited October 2020
    American Hard FM & AOR artist Stan Bush will release their new album 'Dare To Dream' on November 20, 2020 via Cargo Records.

    1. Born To Fight
    2. Dare To Dream
    3. The Times Of Your Life
    4. A Dream Of Love
    5. The 80’s
    6. Live And Breathe
    7. Heat Of Attack
    8. Dream Big
    9. True Believer
    10. Never Give Up
    11. Home

    The album was produced by Holger Fath.

    'Dare to Dream' is Stan Bush’s 14th studio album. The track "Born to Fight" is being featured in a worldwide promotion campaign on Netflix in October 2020 for their two most popular anime shows, BAKI and Kengan Ashura. Netflix is also releasing a music video on YouTube with performance footage of Stan and clips from the shows.

    'Dare to Dream' also includes the single 'The 80’s' released last year 2019. Here's the music video:

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    Where's the latest version of "The Touch" on this one? An oversight? I've really enjoyed most of his recent albums, but the last one was just a bit too derivative of everything he's ever done. Hope this one is more inspired. The song titles are exactly what you'd expect from a Stan Bush album, I'm sure you'd agree...
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    DaveTDaveT Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Comments have been merged from the earlier Forthcoming thread posted before the album's release.
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    DaveTDaveT Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Bush's youngest son plays the role of young Stan in the video for the song 'The 80's'.
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    Been playing this a lot the last few days. Songs of Hope and courage, just what we need in this strange era we're living in.
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    I am liking this one. And it's gotten me to revisit the 2017 album and appreciate it more. It is as formulatic as you get from Stan Bush, but he does what he does well. And I also strongly noticed the "Burning Heart" vibe you mentioned for "Heat Of Attack". This will be high on my Best Of 2020 list.
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    Yep, I like it too. I'm calling it a musical tonic for 2020.
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    If only he would get some more original song titles and topics. Or just write one song and call it "Dare To Dream Big Of Love" - don't split it into three seperate songs ("Dare To Dream", "A Dream Of Love", "Dream Big").

    Oh, apart from that, I like this release very much.
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