Joe Lynn Turner is one of the great rock voices of the 70s and 80s. He is probably best known for his years as a singer for such classic outfits as Rainbow and Deep Purple and for his duo efforts with Glenn Hughes (Hughes Turner Project). While House of Dreams is the second release from Sunstorm (a follow up to their critically acclaimed debut from 2006), the songs they perform are actually material excavated from Turner’s decade old archives mixed with new productions courtesy of additional writers.
Musically there’s no denying that the 11 tracks on this album sound as if they’ve been snatched right out of the 80s and undergone a transformation into a bunch of well-polished, modern sounding pieces of melodic rock. This is 80s music without the predominantly sterile 80s sound – a most welcome departure from form in my opinion. The production is flawless, offering up a clear and warm sound, the underlying keyboards support the music well, and the guitars have sufficient bite to transform certain tracks (such as ‘Gutters of Gold’) to smokin’ hot rockers.
While most tracks on House of Dreams are of a uniformly high standard when it comes to production and musicianship, there are a few that simply miss the mark completely. The ballads ‘Say You Will’ and ‘Tears On The Pages’, for instance, are drained of any and all resemblance to rock and might as well have been entries in the Eurovision Song Contest. While Joe performs wonderfully throughout the album, his voice fitting the genre like few others, I have a hard time picking out more than two or three stand out tracks. On the whole this is simply too bland and slick for my taste, and every single note seems to have departed from my mind as soon as the final track comes to an end.
Fans of Joe Lynn Turner will not be disappointed by his performance on this album, and rockers like ‘Don’t Give Up’, ‘Gutters of Gold’ and the title track ‘House of Dreams’ do offer some pretty tasty riffing and soloing, but it fails to keep me interested for the 45 minute duration of the disc.