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Review by Sea of Tranquility

Taken from Sea Of Tranquility website.
Review by Michael Popke – 20 February 2003

Robert Valdes, a veteran singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from California who got his start in a Kiss tribute band as a kid, finally seems poised to break out of the regional West Coast market and into a whole new realm. His latest solo album, Out of the Shadows — featuring songs all written, arranged, performed and produced by Valdes — has spent more than two months as the top-selling CD from the U.S. mail-order web site Hot Tracks.

Fueled by screaming guitars, snappy arena rock beats and an unbelievably far-reaching voice, this independently released disc recaptures what was so memorable about the Eighties pop-metal scene. Valdes, a guy who counts both David Coverdale and Michael Sweet among his favorite singers and likes Dream Theater as much as Journey, kicks off “Face the Truth” with the kind of yowl you probably haven’t heard for awhile, then follows it up with a massive guitar solo that lacks nothing but pretension. “Close to You” recalls vintage Winger, “I Want Your Love” swaggers like Y&T and the ballad “Hypnotized” rocks with a raw edge, similar to Dokken. Then there’s “Terror in the Sky,” a by-the-numbers yet still admirable tune written about 9/11 — a topic many American rockers feel compelled to address these days. The album closes with “Alone in the Dark,” a moody instrumental that could have been lifted from a mid-Eighties Scorpions record.

At shorter than 32 minutes, Out of the Shadows needs a bit more weight. But with Valdes predicting he’ll release an album a year from now on, there should be plenty more where this came from …