Pleasing rock-pop is how I would describe this debut album from Los Angeles’ Dream Alive.  Before The Dawn has structure, good production, melodies, harmonies and even if it is a shade familiar, that’s never a bad thing.  Lead singer/keyboard player Nik Phoeniks carries the vocals nicely through a strong lead-off track, “See You Tonight”; it moves along with good dynamics and sets up the following numbers well.  “Away From You” is a fine piece of pop work with shifts and changes that take it from funky to poppy.  The album’s single (and video, below), “Don’t Say No” is a big, almost over-the-top power ballad that takes me back to the late ’70’s (or at least Bryan Adams’ best works).  “Before The Dawn”, the title track, opens with some gentle and tasteful guitar textures with a slight psychedelic opening vocal.  Strings carry the melody and the song builds with the right amount of drama and tension – easily the album’s standout.

With the dedication and attention lavished to putting together a good, cohesive and strong initial collection, I think there may be more good things on the horizon from Dream Alive.  Not a bad way to start, indeed.


Before The Dawn will be released on July 29th, 2014

About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

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