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June 21, 2024

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Ian Gillan
Dreamcatcher (Forbidden Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Formerly with such acts as Black Sabbath, Deep Purple, and Jesus Christ Superstar, Ian Gillan has once again taken the dive into the solo world, releasing his first solo album in seven years. DREAMCATCHER is a collective blend of pop, southern rock, blues, and an essence of the jungle.

"Hard On You" begins the disc with a feeling of walking through a tropical forest in Brazil or Africa. As you walk through, the natives' drums are playing and you have a feeling of peace run through your body. Soon the guitar, bass, and drums start playing on top of the 'jungle' sounds. All-of-a-sudden a catchy guitar riff flies through the song and the tempo quickly changes. Right when the body-shakin', infectious riff hits you you'll become pray to Ian. Taken by the music, the drums get your feet tapping and the twistin' guitars get you twisting yourself. The whole song, always throwing that lovable riff back at you, is a very addictive number. Listen to it once and you'll already love it. "A Day Late And A Dollar Short" is a soft metal number with very little hooks. The verses have that slow metal flavor holding it down, but the chorus does offer a little bit of sunshine with some hooks and sing-along anthem ability. "All In My Mind" gives the listener a softer, metal-less number that relies on acoustic guitars rather than its electric counterpart. With a bit of a 'jungle' percussion section driving it, the vocals and acoustic guitar work with other various instruments thrown in and give the listener a very relaxing, delicate number that is melodic and enticing. His voice doesn't get stuck in the soft scream, carried out bore of the metal-ish material, instead it works with the music and carries a tune nicely. "Prima Donna" is another melodic number that really shines on this album. Probably my favorite cut on here, it hit me right from beginning and got me listening. Soft and melodic, this number has all the makings of an adult contemporary pop tune that has the ability to tear up the charts. The piano is the driving force behind the song, which is the main reason for its beautiful and enchanting face as it flows out of your speakers. "That's Why God Is Singing The Blues" once again shows Ian's ability to write an effective, catchy pop tune. His voice and the piano work together to get you smiling, while the guitars and various percussion work help keep the bounce in your feet. The one thing that bugged me about this song is when he says, "You may believe in E-volution." No biggie, just because I pronounce it differently, but I did get annoyed the first few times I heard it. After that I didn't even notice. Ending with "Anyway You Want Me," the CD closes out with another soft rock/pop number that both sounds good and gets your feet tapping, two of the most important things any song can give the listener.

Sometimes it seems Ian gets caught up in the whole 70's rock theme, but later he picks himself back up and cranks out soft rock/pop numbers, with blues in a few spots, and creates a name for himself outside of Deep Purple. When he does this, the album is at its best. I'll give this CD a B.

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