Hugo – Hugo [1997]

Country USA          

Style AOR

Rating 87/100

Band Members Gary Hughes – Bass, Ged Rylands – Piano, Keyboards, Greg Morgan – Drums, Hugo Valenti – Vocals, Vinny Burns – Guitars

Tracks 01. Intro (0:52), 02. We’ll Find A Way (4:44), 03. Walk Away (5:09), 04. So Many Tears Ago (4:59), 05. Crazy (3:31), 06. All That You Wanted (5:19), 07. All The People You Love (4:29), 08. If You’re Ever Lonely (4:08), 09. Desire (4:46), 10. Standing Alone (4:52), 11. A Tear In L.A. (5:25)

Profile “Hugo” is the self titled debut solo album of American AOR/melodic rock singer Hugo Valenti originally released in 1997. Hugo, mostly known for his late 80s melodic rock/glam metal group “Valentine”, recorded this debut in Europe, England with the support of “Ten” front-man Gary Hughes who co-produces the album along with Hugo. Unlike the majority of solo AOR artist albums, “Hugo” features a stable line up throughout including Vinny Burns on guitars, Ged Rylands on keyboards/piano, Greg Morgan on drums, Gary Hughes on bass and of course Hugo on lead vocals.

Those familiar with Hugo’s other works identify how close his music comes to the sound of legendary AOR/melodic rock band `Journey’; and this album is no exception as it makes direct references to the more subtle and radio-friendly side of `Journey’. Still the album includes a fair amount of rocking moments such as “Crazy”, the opener “We’ll find a way”, “All the people you love” which are also personal favorites on the album.

The essence of this debut is very positive, obviously centered on the lyrical subject of love and at times going beyond that and getting philosophical. In terms of production you will probably be able to make out that the album is a 90’s recording, without implying there being production flaws of any kind.

Having been almost 15 years since its release, `Hugo’ should rightfully be considered a classic AOR/melodic rock album of the 90’s that remained true to the qualities of 80s AOR and potentially laid the basis for the resurgence of AOR/melodic rock in the 00’s.

By Nikiforos V. Skoumas

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Rating: 8.7/10 (3 votes cast)
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Hugo - Hugo [1997], 8.7 out of 10 based on 3 ratings
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