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BOSTON Life, Love & Hope

By Becky Dorsett, Houston Contributor
Tuesday, January 7, 2014 @ 3:48 PM


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BOSTON
Life, Love & Hope

Frontiers





I can definitely give Tom Scholz credit for knowing one of the core things of business success: If something isn't broke, don't fix it.

On BOSTON's first album in 10 years, and the first since the death of legendary vocalist Brad Delp in 2007, the band does its best to stick with its tried-and-true sound, one that has come to nearly define the classic rock genre. But I must say that the heart and soul of the previous albums are not in this one. Sadly it feels like something is missing. Maybe it's Delp's voice or maybe it's just the fact that the magic isn't completely there because BOSTON isn't complete without Delp.

From the first time everyone heard "More Than a Feeling" in the 1970s, BOSTON found a place in everyone's heart with an amazing identifiable sound: layer upon layer of angry guitars, harmonic solos and angelic vocals backing Delp, who could hit notes only dogs could hear. Unfortunately this CD doesn't have those high notes that it so desperately needs. Scholz tries to compensate by having others "try" but it's lacking in that department, sadly.

"Sail Away" is an unreleased Delp track about the government's response to Hurricane Katrina, and it's the only one of the three Delp tracks on this album that's new. The two others are "Someone" and "Didn't Mean to Fall in Love", which appeared on the band's Corporate America album. But because Scholz was never really happy with them he decided to fix them while keeping the original Delp vocals. Not sure that it really made them any better but I suppose it's all in the "eye of the beholder" you might say.

I was not a fan of "If You Were in Love" with Kimberley Dahme's nothing-special vocals. At first I thought I had gotten the wrong song to listen to because I have never heard a female vocalist with BOSTON. I give them props for trying to find someone with Delp's range but it just didn't cut it for me as I am a die hard BOSTON fan.

"Heaven on Earth" with David Victor singing lead was one of the closest to sounding like classic BOSTON. Victor did a great job filling Delp's shoes on this one and the harmonies were so close to "Amanda". I think this one could be a strong single if all the BOSTON fans who were around in the '70s remain loyal to a group who definitely had a hand in defining what rock 'n' roll sounded like for many years.

3.0 Out Of 5.0


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