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CD Reviews:  Boston: Corporate America

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Boston has always been (to me) Tom Scholtzís obsessively constructed sonic soundscapes and guitar slinging in combination with Brad Delpís layered vocals. If you know anything about the history of Boston you are aware that they (or should I say Tom Scholtz, who really is Boston) have produced five studio albums in 25 years. Scholtz has spent his time fighting messy legal battles with record companies and old band mates, inventing things like the Rockman (a personal amp for your guitar), and dedicating time and money to numerous humanitarian causes, yet he still managed to put out some really quality and distinctive records. This album is interesting in that Scholtz has assembled some other parties to contribute to the sound, particularly Kimberley Dahme and Anthony Cosmo (son of Fran Cosmo, the vocalist brought in to replace Delp for 1994's Walk On) who have written songs for the album including ďWith You,Ē which doesnít sound like Boston at all but stands as the best track on the record. Delp is also back in this incarnation, but his voice unfortunately is not featured enough, with Cosmo instead getting most of the leads (five of the nine studio tracks). 

The single most detracting thing from this album is the absolutely lifeless drum tracks (on the nine studio songs). I donít know if they were looped, programmed or created in ProTools, but they are lifeless and distracting. The guitar work is solid, and when Delp sings or during Dahmeís beautiful ballad, the album is good. When Cosmo takes over and Delp supports, the songs just donít have the same kick. Cosmo is solid, but the sound just doesnít have the same distinctive quality with Delp as the lead.

I applaud Scholtz for taking chances and making his creative circle a little larger by including contributions from new musicians, a big step for a notorious perfectionist and do-it-yourself guy. I just donít think he has the new configuration evenly balanced or figured out yet. I hope itís not another five to eight years before another Boston album is released (and I hope Delp does most of the leads and Dahme gets a bigger role when it does happen), because my curiosity has been re-ignited. They get a B for effort and a C- for execution.

~R. David Smola : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

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