Perfect View rises from Italy, a current hotbed of all things classic, melodic, and AOR rock in the last several days. Hold Your Dreams is this quintet's debut on Germany's Avenue of Allies label. The Perfect View members have significant musical pedigrees having donated their talents to many regional artists. Drawing from a rich melodic rock heritage Perfect View references Toto, Winger, Journey, among others for their inspiration.
Consequently, Hold Your Dreams fits squarely into the famous AOR melodic rock camp. This is abundantly clear from the first five songs which are generally smooth and innocuous offerings, nearly on the border of the West coast sound. Though adequate, this beginning isn't that auspicious, and honestly I wasn't that impressed (except maybe for the fine ballad A Reason to Fight). If you would stop here you would have an unbalanced view of Perfect View (excuse the unintended pun).
Beginning with I Need Your Love, Perfect View steers a course through different waters. The songs trend towards a heavier sound, especially on I Need Your Love, Showtime, and Speed Demon. The later has a real edge to it, bordering on melodic hard rock or metal. In the midst of these you find Run, a fast paced rocker that bounds over the early softer melodic rock yet still capturing the heaviness of the aforementioned tunes. The disc ends where it began with a smooth AOR ballad, Where's the Love.
Through the course of listening there's no doubt about the significance of the song composition or the musicianship. Vocalist Massimiliano Ordine has got to be one of the best new melodic voices out there. However, Hold Your Dreams is a study in contrasts, a lighter side against a heavier side. Fortunately, the band has the skill to pull of both ends of the melodic rock spectrum. Determining which side is the better course for them or the one you like could be a challenge. Nevertheless, Perfect View's Hold Your Dreams is an entertaining AOR melodic rock listening experience, and could be AoA's best offering this month. Recommended.
Italy is synonymous for AOR these days it seems, but I'm at a loss as to understand that or explain why. I love the way the blurb always compares new bands with the real leaders of the genre; Toto, Winger and Journey. It's a lot to live up to after mentioning such legends but Perfect View give it a really good go.
In 2008, five very accomplished players got together and Perfect View was formed, therefore this is the debut. From the sleeve notes you get a feeling that it's clutching at straws to give you some shred of an interesting point. Shred is a good word as Francesco Cataldo really does shred.
'A Better Place' kicks things off and really does set the tone for an easy listening, pretty easy going, steady melodic vibe with hooks coming as and when required. The sound is very processed but it's become a fashionable way to sound. I can't really pick a band they sound like or a vocalist Massikiano compares too. It's all generally a high standard. 'One More Time' actually feels more Dream Theater-like than AOR, actually now I'm beginning to tune in I can hear the same drum sounds and vocal vibe very much of Dream Theater - yes indeed, as it develops it's certainly paying homage to Lebrie and Portnoy which really is not a bad thing.
I wasn't digging the 80's keyboard intro to 'Believe' but it develops into a catchy enough soaring tune. Further reading into the sleeve notes make me think that whoever wrote them really was struggling to understand where this band is coming from, the phrase 'progressive' is mentioned. Comparison of Massimiliano to Tony Mills and Tony Harnell is misleading; as much as I love both, this guy is certainly more Lebrie.
I hope this band doesn't get lost on this label as it's plain to me they don't really 'get it', which is a shame as Perfect View really shouldn't be pitched against Van Halen and Journey but the more progressive elements of AOR.
MAS INFO: http://noted.blogs.com/westcoastmusic/2010/10/perfect-view-hold-your-dreams.html