1. Hold On Tight (Don’t Let Go)
3. I Promise (I Do Love You)
4. No One Can Treat Me Like U
5. Make It Work
6. In The Nite
8. Luv Games
9. So Hard To Say Goodbye
Source: Vinyl LP
Format: VBR V0 MP3 (FLAC Lossless Format Available Upon Request)
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Dreamboy’s full-length followup to their 1983 debut EP on Quincy Jones’s Qwest imprint also serves as their swan song; from the first note of “Hold On Tight (Don’t Let Go)”, this is a more democratic (in that Jeffrey Stanton does not dominate the songwriting credits), but decidedly “MTV ’80s” pop affair with more synthesizers and more drum machines. This isn’t exactly a bad thing, but does disappoint after hearing the promise that the EP presented. The good thing about it, is that most of the uptempo songs don’t sound much like their apparent inspiration, Prince (outside of Jeff Stanton’s vocals), unfortunately, outside of “In The Night”, the title track, and perhaps “Make It Work”, they don’t make much of a mark.
The real strength of this album are the ballads by far. “Promise (I Do Love You)” visits the same musical well that The Time themselves abandoned after their first album, and the Princely Stanton vocals are in full effect, even multi-tracked to drive the point further. It’s no surprise that “Promise” ended up being one of Dreamboy’s most enduring songs, eventually finding itself on a 1990s Warners compilation called Love Jams (which ironically included a Prince song as well). “No One Can Treat Me Like U” finds itself in the same 1980s crossroad sweet-spot in which “I Want To Know Your Name” resided. “Friends” is much like “Promise”, a youthful and uplifting number that was (by account of comments on Youtube), a very popular song in the Cleveland radio market (a side-note: among the conversations I’ve had with natives and long-time residents of my chosen home, Dreamboy was in the conversation often). The album’s closer, Jimi “Boxx” Hunt’s “So Hard To Say Goodbye” is another powerful ballad that contains the same choral slickness that the 1980s were known for, and much like “I Want To Know Your Name” on the prior outing, it leaves you wanting more.
It’s a shame that there were no real hard groovers along the lines of “Walk The Streets” on this set, and who knows why there weren’t. Though, put up against Ready For The World, and seeing their success, perhaps it might have been a good idea to at least get away with imitating the drum pattern from “1999” for one track to get that hit. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Dreamboy lives on in the hearts and ears of those around to remember them as they were fresh and new, and if there’s one thing to be said about their music, with their youthful vocals, and the potential of their generally above-average instrumentation, they could have left a much larger stake in the ground than they did.