After the huge success of his self-titled debut album, Aldo Nova defied his record company, which basically wanted a carbon copy for his sophomore follow-up, and made a very loose concept album touching on themes such as dreams, imagination, and paradise. Subject...Aldo Nova still featured hooks and melodies galore (and an emphasis on keyboards and synthesizers), but the format was different. Perhaps this style curve confused listeners, and as a result, Subject...Aldo Nova sold far fewer copies than its predecessor and only went gold. (Nova also claimed Portrait didn't promote the album properly.) Three impressively spasmodic synthesizer segments -- "Subject's Theme," "Armageddon (Race Cars)," and "Armageddon" -- open Subject...Aldo Nova and lead into its highlight, "Monkey on Your Back." This disturbing anti-heroin song features a midtempo, menacing throb thanks to relentlessly roaring drums, bass guitar, and rhythm guitar and slow, sustained lead guitar fills. "Hey Operator" and "Cry Baby Cry" are carried by infectious choruses. "Victim of a Broken Heart" is the album's obligatory power ballad. Subject...Aldo Nova isn't as good as Aldo Nova, but Nova had the courage to try something a little bit different.
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AllMusic Review by Bret Adams