Dream On

Dream On

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Not absolutely certain what the motivation for this release was. OK, so Craig Chalmers wasn't exactly a loser in the search for a new star to play the part of Joseph on the Andrew Lloyd Webber-based reality TV show Any Dream Will Do, because he did go on to star as Joseph on a touring version of the show, even if he didn't win the part on the show, that honor ultimately going to Lee Mead. But Craig Chalmers was voted off the show in fifth place, and in this world where everyone's a winner, he and four other losing contestants from the show, Lewis Bradley, Chris Barton, Antony Hansen, and Chris Crosby, were invited to make an album and have the chance to sing together again. Opening the album with a medley of the two songs from Joseph was understandable, "Any Dream Will Do" and "Close Every Door" being the two songs most associated with the character of Joseph in the show. But then followed a whole series of cover versions which were frankly embarrassing, for although all the boys could sing well enough, sometimes that was just not enough. What used to be one of the great harmony love songs, "All I Have to Do Is Dream" was reduced to worse than a pub karaoke version, Dan Fogelberg's beautiful love song "Longer" was worse, with no feeling at all and even less knowledge of what the song was actually about. There have been countless versions of "Can't Help Falling in Love" and "Always on My Mind" throughout the years, but if the Stylistics or the Pet Shop Boys can turn their covers into contemporary modern hits -- the Stylistics with a disco-funk hit, and the Pet Shop Boys with a synth pop song -- then why couldn't these lads add something, anything to these songs? Even Barry Manilow sounded cutting edge on the song "I Made It Through the Rain," but in the hands of Craig and friends, it was an insipid ballad. The worst track on the album had to be "There Goes My First Love" which was a perfect mid-'70s pop song by the Drifters turned into a non-event copycat recording, even down to the "ee ooh" at the end of every chorus line. Have we really been reduced to this? To reality TV series "runners up" making albums that even give easy listening a bad name? The one new song on the album is the closing track, "Dream On" based on the theme of Any Dream Will Do, and there's a mid-tempo ballad with a rather forgettable melody. Fortunately, it is not a cover of the Aerosmith hit.