RAMOS – Living In The Light

RAMOS - Living In The Light


Frontiers Records
Release date: July 29, 2003

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

Men, if you ever thought about saying to your woman, “I’ve memorized your face and the way you look at me, it melts my heart every time I think about you, and I catch myself smiling, there is no greater feeling than being held in love … even when we are old and I am gone, I will always be with you — look for me,” please don’t. Number one, it sounds like you are stalking her in death. Number two, any time you talk to a woman like that, she’ll be rutting the mail man/Fed Ex guy/UPS dude within a week. Save yourself the trouble. But barring those atrocious “words of wisdom” offered by the band Ramos, listen to their CD called Living in the Light all you want.

Ramos is the brainchild of guitarist Josh Ramos (Hardline, The Storm) and this guy firmly has his roots embedded in the stylings of bands like Journey, which is a good thing for the most part. When you throw in vocalist Mark Weitz — who is basically Ramos producer and engineer Kelly Hansen (Hurricane) and Steve Perry mixed together — you are going to get some great melodic AOR rock.

The opening track, which is also the title of the CD, “Living in the Light,” begins with atmospheric keyboards, a strange wind and wah-wah sound, and then concise keyboards meet guitar licks. Pretty good start. You are going to align the sound with Journey whether you want to or not, especially once the vocals start. Weitz is a damn good singer. (The sentence almost read “very” good singer, but Mark Twain said every time you want to use the word “very,” replace it with “damn,” and it works just as well, so there.)

“Don’t Go” is another keyboard piece, and you will find a whole “I love you and lost you” theme throughout the whole CD. It does get a little obnoxious at times, because pining for someone this much just shows you have a bad case of puss-itis, but it is forgivable once you chuck the lyrics aside and hone in on the guitar. Ramos can truly play some melodic and intense music, and it is the highlight of this entire CD.

“Seize the Day” is thankfully a harder song, and Weitz throws an edge into his voice. Ramos is at their best when they turn it up, regardless if they are trying to be emotional and unnecessarily convoluted, but simplistic melodies with straight-ahead, fun lyrics is where they shine. This is one of the best songs on the CD.

You’ll hear a little Kansas influence in the song “Come Back to Me,” mainly again because of the keyboards. Michael T. Ross — yeah, the keyboardist — is a nice compliment to the entire sound. This is another harder song, for Ramos, and the bass line steers the song. Considering you can cast them into the AOR genre, they do offer some diversity.

One thing you may find yourself wondering as the CD goes along is if Kelly Hansen sat in the studio and told Weitz exactly how to sing each part. If you are a Hurricane fan, you will be impressed by how often Weitz sounds like Hansen, and again, this does make the CD that much better. Ramos has a knack for playing impressive guitars, and Weitz has a knack for sounding like a lesser version of two of the best vocalists in the past 20 years. That’s a good thing.

Some other good songs on the CD are “Night Has Fallen,” a slow, somber song; “Take It or Leave It;” and the instrumental “Willie,” a tribute to Ramos’ late brother. You expect this kind of driving emotion from an AOR release, and they deliver. Just remember not to repeat their lyrics to any woman you have now or plan on meeting in the future, and you’ll appreciate the CD you have in your hands.

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