1987's Wildest Dreams finds this Canadian semi-progressive band leaning toward a more radio friendly sound. With songs ranging from ballads to perky pop tempos, Wildest Dreams is a far cry from their keyboard-induced music of the early '80s. Michael Sadler's voice is still both a combination of gentleness and rigidity, but the music doesn't seem to fit his vocal climate as it did on past releases. The best song on the album, and maybe one of this group's most valiant efforts (song-wise), is the catchy "Only Time Will Tell" with the rickety plucking of electric guitar behind the quirky chorus. The attractiveness of the two-part vocal chorus, with background harmonies, works well, but beyond this tune the album is meek and somewhat stale. Average lyrics dressed up with typical instrumentation make up songs like "Chase the Wind" and "Angel" but result in nothing more than candy-coated love songs. The keyboards are put to poor use throughout the songs here, coming in as a faint backdrop to the empty lyrics. Saga's sound on this album is not awful, but it's a 180 degree turn from their dark, progressive music that they are well-known for, especially in Canada and Germany. As a pop album, or a grouping of slower rock songs, the album fits the bill. Fans that know Saga will want to leave this album behind and stick to releases from their glory years.
(LP - Ear / Ear Music #0215963EMU)