Same Dream

Jon Secada

(Digital Download - Big3 Records #)

Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Same Dream is Jon Secada's first pop album in five years and although there's been a long wait between albums, Secada hasn't changed his sound much in the ensuing years. In fact, Same Dream sounds as if he's turning back the years even further than 2000's Better Part of Me, as if he's trying to reconnect with the appealing mellow sound that fueled his early '90s hits. Not only is he not trying to have a big modern dance hit -- the closest he comes is sampling Hall & Oates' "I Can't Go for That (No Can Do)" on "My Baby Don't Rock Like That," but the end result sounds closer to soft-rock than hip-hop -- he's not even gunning for the Latin-pop market here. Instead, this is a pure adult contemporary pop album, with soft surfaces, soulful tasteful vocals and warm melodies that are sturdy, not hooky. It's well constructed and, even though it was cut by a variety of producers, it's cohesive, making it a satisfying listen. Perhaps it's not anything new from Secada, but it does find him reconnecting to his strengths, which will be more than enough for fans that have followed him for nearly 15 years now.

blue highlight denotes track pick