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Greg X & Ken Tamplin of Shout - Dream 2011


01. As The World Spins Round

02. Dream The Dream

03. How To Love

04. Wake Me (Before You Go)

05. Stand Up

06. Love And Hate

07. Victory ( Instrumental )

08. Waiting On You

Ken Tamplin - Lead Vocals

Greg X - Guitars, Bass & Keyboards

Jay Schellen - Drums


Additional Musicians

Ed Villanueva - Keyboards

Panos Kolias - Keyboards

the 2011 debut solo release of Polish born and London based guitarist Greg X (not to be confused with Petra vocalist Greg X. Volz). Dream finds Greg X joining forces with renowned vocalist Ken Tamplin (Shout, Magdallan, Joshua) / To create eight polished songs that, as a result of their blending of AOR and melodic rock with some melodic hard rock and metal leanings, prove a throwback to the more commercial sounds of the eighties.

With a name like Greg X I'm thinking less of Malcolm X and more Racer X crossed with Greg Howe - this is music we're talking about after all and not a history quiz. And so spinning the disc it would seem I'm right - Greg X is indeed a solo guitarist but, if I seem to have cracked the Da Vinci code, I soon find out that things aren't quite as they seem. This is no shred record. Turns out that it's a pretty good AOR album.

Greg X is partnered up with vocalist Ken Tamplin who some of you might know as cousin to Sammy Hagar, or perhaps through his vocal academy - you too can unlock those elusive 3 octaves giving you 4 - count them - 4 in total. Or maybe you even know him from his own solo career and bands such as Shout and Joshua? Anyway Ken manages to put a different spin on things with a voice that sounds by turns like Joe Lynn Turner, Lou Gramm, Jeff Scott Soto but mostly himself.

Greg X is a self-confessed music fan, as well as a London-based guitar teacher, and openly pays tribute to his influences that inspired this album. 'As The World Spins 'Round' has a Rainbow vibe to it - like a Dio-era song but with Joe Lynn Turner-era vocals. 'How To Love' has a heavy Whitesnake '1987' influence to it with a chorus that perhaps owes more to Foreigner. It's a good recovery from the previous Asia-like tones of 'Dream The Dream' which, on the surface' works fine but I was left with the lingering thought that it was undermined by some demo-ish production - it didn't quite gel for me.

'Wake Me (Before You Go)' is another Rainbow influenced tune with a dual-harmony riff that's reminiscent of The Scorpions. This is a cut where Greg X gets to burn and where Ken gets to show off his range - yep, believe or not - 4 octaves are possible. / Finishing off the album we get, and Greg gets, the instrumental that we've been waiting for. 'Victory' is a big number, anthemic and operatic with celtic flavours and mucho sweeping.

As a Guitar Player Greg X is immensely accomplished and it's somewhat unusual and refreshing that, despite being the driving force behind the creation of this album, he takes a supporting role - letting the songs, and Ken Tamplin, do the talking without forcing his playing down your throat. Definitely something that the AOR fans will appreciate.


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