Shortened to Freedom, this is a project made by Guy Freedom English, a Hard Rock musician we had the pleasure of interviewing a while ago here. He has made several independent releases under this moniker, such as American Made or Forged by Fire, but Don’t Dream Tonight seems to be a step in the right direction.
One of the key elements that get your attention from the get-go with this album, especially compared to Guy’s previous releases, is the fact that the production quality has certainly improved. It still sounds raw and organic, which is a good point, but everything sounds clearer and you get a better glimpse of everything that is going on in the songs.
Overall, the album is quite mid-paced, which goes in line with everything we have listened from Guy so far, so there is an important element of consistency there. Once again, the vocals perhaps are not the best and this is something that Guy addressed in our interview: since this is an independent project, he has been recording everything by himself and that includes the vocals. Having said that, while Hard Rock has some incredible singers, it’s all about the attitude and the delivery and this is something that Guy has in spades, at least from my perspective.
The record is a bit short, but I think Run and Hide is one of the highlights with that strong riff and the commanding vocal performance. As it is customary with Guy, the guitar is the main protagonist and he does some of his best guitar work on this particular track.
I also like the groove and somewhat dark feeling of Dead Lights and I find it extremely enjoyable. It’s one of those tracks that have a bit of a minimalistic feel to it–it’s not so much about the aggressiveness but rather conveying a certain aura and feel to the listener. In some passages I can hear a bit of 70s Black Sabbath in the guitar as well and the little solo in the middle of the song is quite good.
Overall, Don’t Dream Tonight is a solid release by Guy and his project, all things considered. When you are a musician doing everything, there can be an element of being overwhelmed and not being able to deliver the goods due to not being an expert on every single thing, but I think he has the songwriting in him and it shows in some of these songs, especially when you consider the guitar work and the improved production.
Definitely a release that is worth your time.
You can listen to Don’t Dream Tonight in the following links: