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Hugo Fire In The Night Indie
hugomusic.net
· Produced By: Hugo & John Mennen

· Running Time: 47.21

· Release Date: Out Now

· Released: ONLINE

· Musical Style: AOR

· Links: Hugo
90%
Songs: 92%
Sound: 80%
Hugo took some time out after the release of his last solo album Time On Earth and then took his own time writing and recording this album, making sure it was everything he wanted it to be. It was released just a week or so ago independently.
Hugo has a lot of fans within the scene – those that love his Steve Perry style vocals and his pure AOR delivery that many other artists have abandoned.
His past lies with Valentine and Open Skyz, but it's his solo albums that have earnt him the most respect. His self-titled debut is an all time AOR classic – not just with me, but with countless others. The follow-up, Time On Earth was another great example of pure AOR, yet didn't quite have the impact or the power of the debut.
Now Fire In The Night is upon us and I really believe most Hugo fans will be delighted with the result.
It's another strong album of pure AOR bliss. Guitarist Eddie Jelley supplies the Neal Schon factor and Gus Karras supplies the rhythm that binds it together.
I believe this album falls between the two previous albums. This is more guitar driven than Time On Earth and the songs are definitely stronger and the album feels as if it has a more defined purpose.
However, the classic debut remains untouched as far a power and production value. This album was recorded entirely off Hugo's own dime and with that considered, it really does sound good. But there are a few occasions on Fire In The Night when the drum sound or the overall mix doesn't quite work as well as it could.
That said, this album works better than Time On Earth on several levels.
Hugo's vocals are as usual, high class and flawless. What I really like about this album is the harmony and backing vocals, which there are several layers of throughout the entire record.
I also think the songs are some of his best. The quality of the vocals and the mix of the harmonies is excellent and a step forward from Time On Earth.
Track By Track:
It's an uptempo rocker that kicks off the album. Hand In Hand features a more aggressive guitar riff than we would normally credit Hugo with. We're not talking hard rock here, but it's a good uptempo number to get the album going and the chorus is – as expected – smooth and typically AOR.
It's The Love winds back the tempo a little, but is a great follow-up track. This is pure AOR and pure Hugo. Ultra smooth and reminiscent of tracks from the debut, this one features a big harmony filled feel good chorus. A very strong AOR track.
In several places the songs flow directly on from each other without gaps. I'm not sure I like that tactic used throughout the album. It's ok on a couple of tracks, but it might affect the enjoyment of the album for a few.
A brief prelude leads into the title track Fire In The Night. I like the uptempo nature of the song and think the chorus is another winner, but I'm not as warm to the drum sound on this track. It's a little dominating, with room taken up that should have been taken by the guitar.
I'll Learn To Live Without You is the first slower track of the album and is a traditional Hugo style ballad, with a catchy chorus and some fine harmony vocals. Very smooth, very Perry-esque and a winner for fans.
Dawn is another uptempo rocker. This has a great feel and a more even mix. The guitar takes a more dominant role in the track and makes the track work even more so because of it. The chorus is another ultra-smooth example of fine AOR with more layered harmony vocals.
It's ballad time again, but Just So You Know is a little different, being that it's largely acoustic based. And it works very well again, is well placed within the running order and showcases another side of Hugo's vocals.
It's rock time again and Don't Wanna Say Goodbye won't disappoint fans of uptempo AOR. The chorus is a little more laid back than the verse, but remains instantly catchy.
Everytime You Walk Away is another mid-tempo pure Journey style track with a big chorus and a strong feel good factor.
Just To Be With You Tonight is a mid-tempo, semi-stripped back soul influenced pop track. Not a favourite from the album, but it fits the groove and features some solid guitar work.
Here I Am is the slowest and the most haunting track of the album. It's a slow, moody and passionate vocal laid over an atmospheric and almost new age base. A nice laid back track.
It runs directly into Hold Me, which closes the album. The song starts slow with a moody build up to a mid-tempo pace that features a solid chorus.
I think the album could have used another uptempo track amongst the last 3 tracks. To close the album with a rockier track might be my only recommendation there.
The Bottom Line
Fire In The Night is a very enjoyable album of pure American AOR. There aren't too many releases like it on the market and I expect most fans to lap this up. It's not a major label production, but it holds up well and is are most instant and enjoyable album than it's predecessor, but still falls short of matching the new classic debut.
The overall package is very nice, with solid artwork, lyrics and track comments from Hugo, which are always appreciated. A very pleasant and enjoyable album featuring some fine performances by all.
Discography / Previously Reviewed
· Valentine
· Open Skyz
· Hugo
· Time On Earth
· Fire In The Night

Line Up
· Hugo: Vocals
· Eddie Jelley, Gus Karras: Guitar
· Chuck Valenti: Drums
· Gerard Zappa, Joe Cumia: Bass
· Lance Millard: Keyboards

Essential for fans of:
· Hugo
· Journey
Track Listing
· Hand In Hand*
· It's The Love*
· 4Ever Endeavor (Inst.)
· Fire In The Night
· I'll Learn To Live Without You*
· Dawn*
· Just So You Know
· Don't Wanna Say Goodbye*
· Everytime You Walk Away*
· Just To Be With You Tonight
· Here I Am
· Hold Me
--*Best Tracks


21/09/05: Restless one - petermay@adam.com
Rating: 90
A GOOD SOLID RELEASE FROM HUGO,ALTHOUGH NOT IN THE SAME LEAGUE AS HIS NOW CLASSIC DEBUT.UNFORTUNATEY THE PRODUCTION COULD HAVE BEEN BETTER,THE DRUM SOUND SUCKS IN THE MIX,BUT I LOVE HOW THE HARMONY'S AND BACKING VOCALS ARE RIGHT UP IN THE MIX. JOURNEY FANS LIKE MYSELF WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED,ESPECIALLY WHEN HE RIPS OFF " I'LL BE ALRIGHT WITHOUT YOU" AND "AFTER THE FALL" COMBINING THEM INTO THE CHORUS OF "I'LL LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU". IT'S ONE OF THE FINEST SONGS ON THIS HERE DISC, ALONG WITH MY PERSONAL FAVOURITE ( HERE I AM ) VERY STEVE PERRY-ISH THIS GEM OF BALLAD AND TWO OF HUGO'S BEST EVER SONGS.

01/04/05: John K - badco2004@hotmail.com
Rating: 82
Compared to the first and second albums, this is a disappointment.
I am a huge Hugo fan and have always enjoyed anything he has worked on/sang on
Production leaves much to be desired. The songs just seem to fall short of what you would expect from Hugo.
I just don't find this album as appealing as the first two. The songs themselves seem flaccid and lack the fire found on the last two albums.
Aside from Every time you walk away, I find no reason to really get excited about this release.
I listened to this latest release for over a week consistently and still came away bummed.
I'm holding out for something better from the AOR king.

09/10/04: PAUL M. - PAUL@AOL.COM
Rating: 90
GREAT VOCALIST, SONGWRITER ETC. NICE GUITARS ,WITHOUT ALL OF THE TYPICAL SHOW OFF APPROACH. I LIKED THE WAY THE PREDOMINENTLY
GUITAR ORIENTED CD, HAD AMAZING DEPTH , SHOWCASING DIFFERENT TEXTURES IN EVERY TUNE. VERY CATCHY CHORUSES THROUGHOUT. I'M STILL HUMMING ALONG WITH THIS ONE!

27/07/04: Terry - teraider@hotmail.com
Rating: 90
Hugo's voice is in fine form. If you enjoy Steve Perry's voice, you will definitely enjoy Hugo's. The production is weak, but what can you expect with the budget he had. With that said, this is a wonderful album. Pure AOR.

19/07/04: Mark Timson - mark@jdlprojects.com
Rating: 96
Well, having finally got around to listening to this album......and having read all the reviews....I have come to this conclusion!! I have played it on my Car CD player, my PC, my DVD, my stereo and a knackered old CD walkman....and well believe it all not you can't escape the fact that great songs sound great on anything you play!! All the songs are absolute gems..Hugo is just an amazing songwriter....pure AOR at it's prime!! Ok....the drums do sound S**TTY but the songs remain the same......PURE CLASS!! If we spent less time trying to be Mutt Laing and listen to the Bloody songs.....well need I say more. I've heard a damn site worse produced Albums over the years....So lets stop throwing our Rattles out of our Prams and give this exceptionally talented artist the credit he deserves.
Thanks Hugo for keeping the songs alive!!

23/06/04: guillermo - usuarios@retecal.es
Rating: 82
UN buen album muy cercano al mejor Journey quiz'as se eche de menos alguna cancion estelar que rompa la monotonia

02/06/04: G. Schmitt - passionrisk@hotmail.com
Rating: 77
I've been seeing his live Journey tribute recently, and the guy still sounds great. FITN is stronger than the last cd, but not as good as the first. My main gripe is the snare sound. Aweful, and mixed WAY too loud. It just becomes destracting. Overall, most of the material is solid, though. Lets hope someone will remix it one day.

29/05/04: Mark - markisellhomz@aol.com
Rating: 95
I Disagree with all these bad Production comments.I feel this Album Was Very Well Produced.Those of you who "Think Outside The Box" Understand Where I'm Comin From! This CD has A Very Distinct,Unique Flavor to it!!! Ton's of Harmonies,,aka...Queen,CSN,Beatles!! Love The Wall of Sound Effect!!! Lot's of liitle Subtle things goin on Every Song!!
Very Clever Trick Guitar clips!! This Is HUGO"S SGT Pepper Album!!! John Mennen's Production reminds me Of Early Pink Floyd & Late 60's Beatles!!!
Those of you who Don't Get it....Don't Get it!

Change is Good!!! Tired of the same Blah,Blah,Blah Melodic Production.John & Hugo are taking us to A New Place! Come along for the Ride...Won't You?

26/05/04: ij001h3345@blueyonder.co.uk - ian_752@msn.com
Rating: 75
I've always loved this guys voice , and lets face it with Mr. Perry M.I.A we have to rely on Hugo to give us our fix of superb vocals.Why then a lowish mark ? , well it's not the songs which on the whole are rather wonderful . You all know whats coming, yes it's the production, that quite frankly sucks big time and thats a shame because if your gonna do an AOR cd then you need a BIG PRODUCTION still like i said the songs and especially the vocals are great to here once again, better production next time will do wonders. Come on Hugo i know you can do it .

22/05/04: Tafkaz - unavailable
Rating: 50
Some great songs, overall cool music, but man the poor production quality ruins all. A real disappointment.

18/05/04: mhiner14@charter.net - Mike
Rating: 97
This guy is THE BEST true AOR song writer currently out there. That is where the true value of this and his previous two solo albums lie. His output of the past 10 years is far superior than the work of the more highly touted songwriters like Peterik, Blades, Schon or Cain. The fault here with this album is just poor production and mix. The guitars are too deep in the mix the drum are too out front on most songs and the lack of track spacing gets distracting. All these are really most heard in the 1st song, (Hand in Hand) and the awkward transition from song 1 to 2 (Its the Love). It sets a bad start that some people are over critical about. I would really like to here a remix of this album. That said, this a instant classic and along with Seventh Key is the best release of the last 2 to 3 years. Much better than any Journey, Mickey Thomas, Styx, Mecca, Pride of Lions, Two Fires or any of a few other recent releases you care to mention.
My rating for:
Hugo - Time on Earth - 98
Hugo - S/T - 100
Open Skyz - 85
Valentine - 80
Journey - Arrival - 85
Two Fires (both) - 90
Mickey Thomas - 82
Pride of Lions - 85
Styx - Cylorama - 88
Thats where I stand.

14/05/04: SonyEricsson - less2be@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
I downloaded it off EMULE completely after reading about sound quality is other crap , guess what.......i went out and bought it after just 1 full listen on Mp3.

You people are crazy or what?.....this album is excellent ,and i love it , it does feel a bit unpolished, but know what, this is the best album of HUGO!!.....yes , better that S/T and TIME ON EARTH.

if you really want to hear what a crap band is all about listen to MELODICA.....great songs , crap production .....TOTAL CRAP!!

HUGO new album is absolutely brilliant.....buy it and don't listen to these monkeys.
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14/05/04: Hanuk Baac - Temporarily Unavailable
Rating: 85
I just got it in the mail yesterday. As for the production, it could've done much better with the right people and budget behind him, but the sound isn't as that horrible as some of people in this rant suggest. The drum sound especailly has a room for improvement but still 10 times better than what Lars Ulrich did last year with his own masterpiece St.Anger... Yes this isn't the most polished Hugo album unfortunately, but definitely the heaviest and fastest-paced of Hugo's, a very solid guitar oriented AOR album. Fans of Hugo and good AOR in the past and present, won't be disappointed.

11/05/04: Nando - luiztremante@hotmail.com
Rating: 70
Okay HUGO, get back in the studio (PLS don´t forget to invite Vinny) and record the album again. I am totally sure that if you had had the musicians and production from the first this one would definitely be a HIT!!!!!!!

11/05/04: Elizabeth - puffdoggie93@yahoo.com
Rating: 95
This album rokzz!!!!!! This is my first Hugo album. I turned all my friends on to him. He is GORGEOUS!!!!!(Its a chick thing). This album has a special place in our hearts. :P We love the songs "Just so you know" and "Hold me"!!!! Girlfriendz you won't be dissapointed!!!!!

09/05/04: jeff - heavymetal532@yahoo.com
Rating: 60
IHAVE BEEN A HUGE HUGO FAN EVER SINCE 1990 I HAD LOVED VALENTINE
AS SOON AS I HEARD IT.I ALSO LOVED THE OPEN SKYZ CD.HUGO TWO
SOLO CD`S WERE THE BEST HE`S EVER DONE.I HAVE TO SAY IM VERY
DISAPOINTED IN THE FIRE IN THE NIGHT CD.HUGO`S VOICE SOUNDS
GREAT BUT THE SONGS HAVE NO FEELINGS.

07/05/04: Mats - matsb@bolina.hsb.se
Rating: 52
Sorry but this is at best demo quality. The drums sounds like my sons drumkit and he is five. I have been waiting for this release but...... Positive note is t5hat Hugos voice sounds great and the songs should have been top if not the poor sound quality had ruined everything. Anfd these days it is possible to do a good job on a small budget .....!

06/05/04: Hector - hlakisz@fullzero.com.ar
Rating: 60
I love de songs but the production is very very very POOR. The sound of the drum is crap and destruction the job. The best moments are the ballads ¡WHEN THE DRUM DISSAPEAR !.
This is not at album, THIS IS A DEMO.
What a shame !!!!!!

04/05/04: Lynne Segovia - lynne.segovia@esintl.com
Rating: 88
I really like the new CD. I love the Journey like sound of Hugo's music. There is still a place in 2004 for ballads. With all the hectic things going on in this world a few more ballads won't hurt. I'm not sure if I like the way the music merges one into the other but I'll overlook it. I disagree with Paul.I like the dead air time at the end of Hold Me. It's like dessert after a great meal. Hugo, keep up the good work. Don't fall prey to the mainstream record company's demands.

03/05/04: Jim - Kickingback_36@hotmail.com
Rating: 84
I agree with pgborden. The content of the Cd is great. I waited months for this CD to come out. I listened to clips that were shown on this site. And when the Cd came out I bought it the first day. But when I started listening to the Cd 8 of the 12 songs end 5 secs too soon. Making the quality of the CD sound cheap. I sent a letter to the producers of the CD was told they did this on purpose to run the songs together. What a load of trash. They don't run together they just end too soon and the next song starts a few seconds later. If you are a big fan of Hugo like I am I guess you can over look it. But to me I think they rushed the CD out too soon and could have done better on the production. Next Cd Hugo puts out I will make sure there are not pre-cut endings to the songs before I spend my money.

29/04/04: Claudia - eckertc@hotmail.com
Rating: 97
I absolutely love this album. I've been listening to it for a week straight. It just keeps getting better!!!! Hugo's voice is enchanting. He should be on the radio. Don't hesitate just buy it. You won't be dissapointed. I wasn't. "Don't wanna say goodbye tonight" I can't get his songs out of my head!!!!! Hugo Rocks!!!!!!!

26/04/04: S.ESPOSITO - dblmbatman@hotmail.com
Rating: 95
I LISTENED TO THE ALBUM A FEW TIMES. THIS IS NOT YOUR TYPICAL "OLD FART ROCK". ITS FRESH AND MORE "TODAY" SOUNDING THAN ANYTHING ELSE I HAVE HEARD, FINALLY MELODIC ROCK IS MOVING AHEAD. I LOVE THE WAY THE ALBUM FLOWS - NO WASTED DEAD AIR - JUST NEW ROCK!!!THERE ARE MORE LAYERS TO IT. ALMOST 3-D!!! I HEAR MANY INFLUENCES ....LIKE EVANESCENCE, DEF LEPPARD, BOSTON ETC. YOU SEE I'M NOT STUCK IN THE PAST. I DONT LISTEN TO OLD OUTDATED "VINTAGE" VINYL....ITS DEAD AND BURIED WHERE IT BELONGS. LIVE FOR THE FUTURE !!!! ROCK ON HUGO. I GOT IT!!!!

24/04/04: steve m - stejamar1966@yahoo.com
Rating: 75
I've listened to this cd 4 times now & can't find more than 3 tunes that i want to listen to again! I've got all his cds solo,valentine-open skyz But quite honestly this cd puts me to sleep! TOO MANY SAPPY BALLADS & THE ROCKERS DON'T ROCK!! Just like the two fires cds/kevin chalfant,Hardline etc... Some music from the 80's should stay there! They should work on their own sound instead of borrowing from Journey!! Looking forward to the new DOKKEN CD HELL TO PAY !!

24/04/04: gener8tr - fjbmoore@pacifier.com
Rating: 65
Hugo... See what happens when you lose the big dollar (or any dollar for that matter) backing required to properly produce an album? I guess losing Vinnie Burns and the rest of Ten didn't help much, either. I'm sorry, I don't mean to be so hypercritical, but I just anticipated and expected so much more. This CD sounds to me as though it's a mix of demos (first takers) provided to a record company to acquire a sniff at the big time... I'll play the debut again tonight, but this one may never get played again.

24/04/04: Paul - pgborden@hotmail.com
Rating: 84
I've been waiting for this one, and for the most part it doesn't disappoint. I agree with a couple of Andrew's criticisms, most notably the fact that all of the songs merge into one another with no break. I have no problem with that, so long as their is a flow to the bridge. In most cases here, that is not the case. In a couple of instances it's so bad it sounds like a song gets cut off. I also agree that the end of the album ran too many mellow cuts in a row to close it out. This CD definitely falls in between the first two, albeit it comes closer to Hugo's debut than to Time On Earth. For Hugo/Steve Perry/Kevin Chalfant fans, this is a Must Buy. For diverse melodic rock fans, this is a very good CD, better than most of what's out there today. On a track by track basis(*=best cuts), my feelings go like this:
1. *HAND IN HAND- Cool rocker with a Valentine kind of feel, but not a solid choice to lead off the CD;
2. *IT'S THE LOVE- In the vein of Tell It To My Heart or Walk Away, a typical solid #2 track for a Hugo CD;
3. PRELUDE: 4EVER ENDEAVOR- Should have faded into this instrumental, and it should have led off the CD;
4. *FIRE IN THE NIGHT- My favorite track. I've got to disagree with Andrew on this one... the dominant drums are what make this song awesome;
5. I'LL LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT YOU- My least favorite track originally, but I'm warming up to it. The problem comes from ending FIRE IN THE NIGHT so abruptly and then straight into this slower tempo tune. It's like driving 60 then slamming on the brakes... after you've already hit the brick wall;
6. DAWN- This could have been a great song. Everything about it works, except the title. It just seems lyrically like their's room for 3 or 4 syllables each time he sings "Dawn". It just doesn't flow;
7. JUST SO YOU KNOW- Solid acoustic effort, but not exceptional;
8. *(DON'T WANNA)SAY GOODBYE TONIGHT- Good solid AOR rocker, would've been a top 20 hit back in the day;
9. *EVERY TIME YOU WALK AWAY- Deceptively good song. Changes pace very smoothly and becomes rather addictive;
10. JUST TO BE WITH YOU TONIGHT- Listenable but not exceptional;
11. *HERE I AM- Okay, so I'm a sucker for sappy ballads. I enjoy the haunting feel of this one, but I am disappointed that there was no powerful, soaring Hugo-esque ballad on this CD;
12. HOLD ME- Very unique approach on this one. Very listenable, but somehow I just don't think he nailed it as well as he might have. And the reprise after a minute of dead air time was unnecessary.

24/04/04: Freddy De Keyzer - freddydekeyzer@hotmail.com
Rating: 88
As always Hugo has release a real quality record. Pure, fine AOR, just the way it should be done.
Give this indeed a major production and it will have a 90 rating !
Anyway : very RECOMMENDED to all true AOR fans out there ! Fans that still like keys too !!!

23/04/04: Alex Lee Ericsson - alex_lee_ericsson@yahoo.com
Rating: 70
What Is This? Garage-promotion Demo Quality CD....After Listening CD's Like SPIN GALLERY is hard to find space for this...and don't get me wrong , i used to love this guy....but this release is just BIG question mark for me!!!
I will give it few more tries...but nothing gonna change this demo quality sound anyway....so listen to it , and tell us what u think...


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