MIDNIGHT DAYDREAM – Midnight Daydream

Midnight Daydream 2023

MIDNIGHT DAYDREAM –
Midnight Daydream

Reveries run in the family: young American boldly blends deceptively incongruous genres and styles to honor his father.

A quarter of a century since Bruce Cameron took a few Jimi Hendrix and Alice Cooper’s sidekicks, Jack Bruce and Ken Hensley to his studio to hew the raw nugget of “Midnight Daydream” only to follow the refrain of one of its songs, “I Want To Be Late” that called for suicide, the late guitarist’s scion Riley, also a six-string master, decided to pay homage to him by taking its futuristic ideas further, to where new hopes reside. Having inherited father’s tagline to use as an ensemble name and the title of their debut, Cameron Jr. doesn’t need the help of stellar guests, though, to bring home the message of mental health awareness via the heady, madly organic, and original, mĂ©lange of genres which will keep the listener on their toes – focused and exhilarated.

In a little longer than half an hour, this platters’ pieces run through a wide, wild even, variety of styles, melding metal passages with delicate electronica and thus creating industrial landscapes before pouring such a brew into a hip-hop crucible, but it’s only via the occasional harmonic panorama that Riley may indulge in his pater’s bluesy squeal. From the cosmic heaviosity of “Welcome” to the power-balladry of “Forever” which betray the young multi-instrumentalist’s love for, respectively, prog and folk, there’s a sense of intrepid foray into the great unknown – gloomy yet engaging – so once the ivories-woven new wave agenda of “Losing Faith” has been married to vigorous rapping, its aggressive edge is bound to get dissolved in an infectiously slowed-down refrain and undercut by a chiseled guitar solo. Still, if the outlandish “Street Soldier” unhurriedly struts its urban stuff, Coolio-like, and the riffs and riddims of “No Place To Hide” and the chants and rhymes of “The Light” exude nocturnal fears with much more swagger as if preparing the field for the wordless “Inevitable” and “The Farms” to host some tasty ‘n’ tuneful shredding.

However, it’s autobiographical, troubling yet soothing, “Greatest Story Ever” that hits the hardest, as Riley’s inhabits Bruce’s shoes – but he doesn’t stay there, using his “Midnight Daydream” as a launchpad for greater, life-affirming exploration of our existence. Witness the arrival of a marvelous artist.

*****

July 30, 2023

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