The Following Review by Kimmo at RockUnited.com – April 5, 2005
Remember Robert Valdes? Two years ago I reviewed “Out Of The Shadows”, a very well produced hard rock album. I remember saying that he liked to emphasize his guitar playing more than his songwriting or singing, with a lot of “shredding” in many of the songs. Now, with “Acoustic Journey” Valdes does a complete U-turn and re-introduces himself mainly as a singer/songwriter, with very little shredding anywhere to be found! Valdes offers us 12 acoustic tracks, 10 original compositions and two interesting covers: “Miles Away” by Winger and Y&T’s “Winds Of Change”. They work quite well, but I still think that the strongest tracks here are among Robert’s own compositions. There’s a point in including covers though – a bit of familiarity makes it easier for anyone to digest an album like this – not to mention a live show. He might even get himself some extra airplay with these well-known songs.
As for the Valdes originals, there’s plenty of stuff for you to enjoy. The opener “Don’t Lose Heart” is among the best ones, with its’ strong chorus and excellent backing vocals. Very powerfulstuff, considering that it’s all acoustic! Somehow in this track Valdes manages to combine the modern semi-acoustic rock style of the GooGoo Dolls and the likes with the power of 80’ies hard rock. Another highlight is “Face”, with great hooks and backing vocals again, and there’s no way I’d forget “He Lit My Way”, which reminds me a bit of Firehouse. Lyrically it’s more like Stryper, but I have no problem with that. Possibly the best track of the album is “Lonely Man”, which is one of the few tracks to feature an electric guitar solo. Another great chorus there and good backing vocals too, but I guess that goes without saying now? The other tracks are quite good too
I’m really interested in hearing what Mr. Valdes has up his sleeve for the next album. With the first album he showed that he can rock with the best of ’em and on this album he proved that he can come up with excellent melodies and hooks. If the album number three combines those elements successfully, then we’re in for a real treat!