Dream Out Loud: Human Race
I first heard of Dream Out Loud when they came to headline the ‘rock show’ during my annual college festival, and given the reputation of my college, I wasn’t expecting too much. However, Suraj Jagan and Chandresh Kudwa proved me rather wrong. Not about my college, sadly, but most definitely about Dream Out Loud; so much so that I went out and got my hands on their album, ‘Human Race’, the following week.
On picking up the album and looking at the track list, I was a bit disappointed to see that my favourite song from their live performance, and a massive crowd pleaser, “South Indian Boy” wasn’t on it. Perhaps it’s just a song they do on stage, or one we’ll see in a future album, but it’s definitely a very good reason to listen to them.
‘Human Race’ ranges from slow, soft rock to funk, and has a few flashes of good old hard rock thrown in for good measure, with well-written lyrics for the most part. Ever wanted the ideal music when you curl up on your couch under a blanket and drift away? Look no further than “Last Days On Earth” and “So Far So Good”. However, the title “So Far So Good” seems to apply to the album, in a way. Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea, but in my opinion that gap between pop love songs and rock ballads is better left unfilled. The next few songs, from “Prayer in Your Heart” to “Desire”, are not particularly appealing. Sure, they showcase Suraj’s considerable vocal range, and great songwriting from the band, but the music, on the whole, isn’t enough to draw out any substantiated positive response.
All is not lost, however, far from it. I still haven’t mentioned the best tracks on the album. It seems Dream Out Loud were saving the best for last with “Human Beings”, an awesome, catchy, funky song that’s sure to stick in your head for some time to come. “Jigsaw” follows in much the same vein. Then, of course, comes the album’s lead single “It’s Raining Now”. The Vh1 fanboys would be familiar with this one, seeing as it was played 50-odd times a day for a few weeks when the video was released. For good reason, too — it’s a fabulous song. With brilliant vocals, awesome melodic guitars and lyrics, “It’s Raining Now” is the highest point of ‘Human Race’.
“Now” is a nice song to cap what is, overall, a pretty decent album. It’s not the best slow/alternative rock album you’re going to find, but is definitely worth picking up, even if only for “Human Beings” and “It’s Raining Now”. Suraj displays great vocal range, which I can’t help but feel could be put to much better use with some hard rock. Chandresh on guitars does little to disappoint all through the album.
I do hope Dream Out Loud release another new album or single sometime in the near future. Something on the heavier side, along the lines of, and including, that immortal song “South Indian Boy” would do very, very nicely.