on 19 December 2013
I'm quite surprised at the poor reviews of this album. Yes, it's not a classic and for me the inclusion of three previously released tracks is a bit cheap, but I buy a Boston album for that trademark sound that only Tom Scholz can produce. If Boston had done an unplugged album or gone in a different direction I can only imagine the outcry. The opening track Heaven on Earth is everything you would expect if you love Boston and hits the mark big time. The rest of the album is more of the same culminating in the final track The Way You Look Tonight which for some will come across as soppy but it leaves you wanting more and is a real grower. In fact I would say the whole album grows the more you listen to it and I personally can't keep it off the player. My advice, go on a 45 minute car journey and turn up the volume and remember with Boston you get what you pay for.
on 18 January 2014
Given the mixed reviews about this album, I felt I had to comment that, although initially I didn't think it was very good at all, having persevered with it and kept playing it, I now think it is a great album and can't stop playing it.
The songs are all excellent (well, maybe apart from 'Love got away'), particularly track 2 "Didn't mean to fall in love" with Brad singing. Well done Tom et al - another classic Boston album.
My advice would be to not be put off by the bad reviews and try this for yourself.
on 6 February 2014
I was so excited when I read that Boston were bringing out a new album and I had read that it was going to be more similar to the Boston of Old, particularly after the massively disappointing Corporate America album.
Oh but what a massive disappointment. Their debut album (which is probably one of the Top 5 best albums I have ever bought) and Don't Look Back were without doubt absolute Rock masterpieces - Timeless melodies, wonderfully engineered and skillfully played. But OMG This album should have never been titled as the new Boston album. It should have been labelled as a Tom Scholtz self indulgence masterpiece, which would have certainly stopped me from buying it.
I really have been trying to like this album and I have listened to it repeatedly in the car on the way to work, but there is quite simply not one single good song on the entire album. It should have never been sold as the new Boston album. Why oh why could Tom have not brought back the surviving members of the original band and create an album to be proud of ?
Unfortunately this album, for me, is the final nail in the coffin as I quite simply will not buy another Boston album if there is ever one produced and I will have to have to settle listening to their first 2 masterpieces.
on 4 January 2014
I bought this album because hey, this is Boston, I ALWAYS buy whatever they put on sale - I'm a fan and that's what fans do. Never thought I'd see the day that I'd regret buying one of their albums. Today, however, is that day. This album sucks big time.
First of all, the re-releases are no match to the originals. They should have been left alone. Tom, it took you eight years to get off the pot and get them on an album the first time around; why should adding another eleven years automatically improve them? Let me tell you: it didn't.
Then, the new material. There's good news and there's bad news. The good news is: the trademark sound is still there. The bad news is: the songs themselves aren't all that great, certainly not on a par with the best of their other albums. If this is the best Boston can do after all that time and with all that effort... I'm sorry, but I'm more than a bit disappointed.
Brad Delp passed away, Kimberley Dahme went solo again. There have been guest vocalists introduced on this album. That's fine by me. But why stop there, Tom? You could have used a guest songwriter. Someone you yourself admire and are prepared to listen to. Because God only knows if I can stand another album like this.
on 15 February 2014
Firstly the bad - sub-standard production (unacceptable considering the quality of other music released in this genre, especially on Frontier Records) and only 8 new songs (3 songs have been re-recorded from previous albums). However, this is outweighed by the fact this is still unmistakably a Boston album with all the smooth vocal harmonies, big chorussed guitar chords, classic organ sound and excellent songs you'd expect from Tom Scholz. Ironically the 3 re-recorded songs are actually excellent tunes and some of my favourites from the Corporate America album. I have listened to this CD dozens of times since purchasing it and the negative aspects mentioned at the start don't spoil my listening pleasure, hence the positive rating. Hopefully Tom will allow some outside help for the next CD and get the production back up to the quality level you would expect from Boston and Frontier Records.
on 11 December 2013
I recall the previous (pathetic) Boston effort had a CD cover showing how much Tom Scholz cared about the planet, cared about ecology, cared about animals, etc. What a pity he doesn't seem to care about humans as much, specifically, Boston fans!
I was describing the band to someone the other day. I explained how the debut album would forever be an AOR masterpiece, how the follow-up matched it in my opinion (although many disagreed), how the 3rd album was a let-down (weaker songs and not enough up-tempo tracks), and how "Walk On" was a slight reprieve, although spoilt by organ. (Why does the man fancy himself as a keyboard player so much? Stick to the guitar!)
I mentioned the inexcusable (and increasing) long delays between releases. I said there was no way he'd have done that if he'd had to put food on the table every day. (Maybe it would have been better if the debut hadn't been THAT big a seller!!!) I mentioned his obsession with making guitars sound like synthesizers to prove some bizarre point. (Errr, nobody CARES what instrument makes a particular sound as long as the sound is there.)
I then mentioned the outrageous "Corporate America" where he thought he could just include his girlfriend's acoustic dabblings and pass it off as "Boston". WRONG! There's a reason millions bought into the great Boston guitar sound with Brad Delp's incredible harmony vocals. They had every right to expect that from subsequent albums. I'm sure Kimberley Dahme is a nice person, and I'm sure her solo album is very good for that genre, but you DON'T force your sweetheart's music down everyone's throat. What if Tony Iommi has married a concert pianist then included a classical piano showpiece in the middle of a Black Sabbath album?!
If anyone should dispute my feelings there, then let me ask a question : if the first "Boston" had been full of Kimberley Dahme originals, would it have had the same phenomenal success? Well? Enough said!
This release (which is so poor it doesn't warrant the time taken to do a detailed track-by-track critique) rehashes songs - a trait already evidenced previously with "Livin' For You". What? In case we missed them first time round? I know Tom Scholz could never be called "prolific", but come on! There is a mixture of voices and styles, but nothing even remotely comparable to their glory days, to my ears. No doubt some diehards will come out with that "logical progression" nonsense, but the only logic I can see is releasing it under an entirely different band name, and seeing if it sells - I dare them!
I remember laughing a few years ago when I read about him battling some record company for not promoting the C.A. album. Hilarious! Blaming others, when the simple reason it didn't sell was because if was utterly NAFF! People chose not to buy then, and even less will buy this.
I sincerely believe that this latest abomination - 11 years in the making? - only appeared because his coffers were running short (due to various legal costs). Will it therefore recoup? Wouldn't hold your breath, mate!
Finally, many rumours have surrounded the death of the late, great Brad Delp, who was at least a little bit more prolific than Scholz over the years. I don't suppose we may ever know the truth, the real story, but there has certainly been mention of Scholz's antics allegedly causing Delp's depression, which led to suicide. As I say, you and I weren't there, but I can honestly say nothing would surprise me any more where Scholz is concerned, should it be true. He's gone from hero to zero in my book, and I can see this album making him a laughing stock. Buy at your peril!
on 24 December 2013
This album comprises the 'classic' Boston sound. Tom Scholz is now in his mid-60's and musicians of his vintage surely cannot be expected to be making the best music of their lives? What Scholz has produced here is a genuinely good Boston album. For me the first half is considerably stronger than the second; the first 5 songs are excellent.
One point which is well worth mentioning is the mastering, which is NOT too loud - kudos here to Tom Scholz and/or Frontiers.
Given Tom Scholz's track record (sic) of perfectionism which in turn leads to enormous periods of time between albums, this could easily turn out to be Boston's swan song, though I hope not. If it is, it's not a bad way to finish.
on 11 December 2013
Let me explain, in Father Ted an Anglo-Irish sit-com farther Ted puts a slight mark on a new car that's a prize for a raffle. He then proceeds to correct that perceived fault till in the end it no longer resembles what it started out as. Thus Tom Scholz has been going over these newer tracks on here till they lack any originality. Ending up as poorly overproduced bostonish sounding mush.But Riping down to WMA/MP3 surprisingly improves the sound overhaul .perhaps it's aimed at the apple "I" market!
After 11 years I still can't rate "corporate America"[CA]anything more than medioca although my then teenagers kids said they quite liked it., sadly now even they are unimpressed with this, There is redeeming things on this album, it has better production than the corporate America album [only just] .But lacks the flow and song quality of that one and only 29 minuets of new material is poor going [1978 DLB was short but full of quality songs] where this seems like a collection of outtakes from the last 20 years assembled to make some cash
First up is "heaven on Earth" sounding like a "Walk on" track it's not a bad track at all it certainly a good opening track shame about its rather compressed sound. And seems somewhat short.
Next "didn't mean to fall in love" a rehash from CA no real change to original version. So would be ok only as bonus track really. If you're going to redo a track its only works if you want a different feel. [say like Runrig's Single" Protect and survive" Track totally rearranged from the album version}.
"Last Days of School" good instrumental patch.
"Sail Away" Styx "with a Boston twist here. This has a good feel to it. Just ditch the rap at the start and ignore the abrupt ending far to short.
"Life Love Hope" A bit Light weight but quite upbeat. And enjoyable track not as cluttered in the mix.
"If You Were In Love" Female lead vocal. Intriguing Piano intro and a more soundtrack sounding song. It works well but lacks conviction in both vocal and pace.
"Someday" Filler through and through. Lacks direction.
"Love Got Away" aaaaanother filler this is full of bits of different instruments layered for no cohesive reason.
"Someone" From CA again .WHY doesn't add to previous version.
"You Gave up on Love" I liked this from CA and I don't like this rework yes its not as harse but the added guitars spoil the flow and makes the track less energetic to me. Shame
"The Way You Look Tonight" This is a/would be a classic Boston track if you could inject more conviction in to it. This should work well as live track.
Sorry this just is a "going through the motions" effort and this would have been better as a re-release of CA with these tracks added as bonus tracks .They would easily fit on one disc. Anyway let's hope for a UK tour to hear these played live it may just redeem them.
on 18 December 2013
Let's just do a reality check here for starters: Few would argue that the self titled debut album was anything other than a masterpiece. I still find myself coming back to it on a regular basis and was reminded of its brilliance just recently when listening to Stryper's 'Murder By Pride' album where they include a cover of Peace of Mind featuring Tom S himself as a guest (Boston fans get that album - it's worth it for that cover!). The quality of the song shines through and I am humming both the tune and the riffs as I type this. This is never going to happen with Life, Love and Hope which should really be titled 'Lifeless, Unlovable and Hopeless'.
I was going to enter a track-by-track review but it's just not worth bothering. Others have rightly commented on the sound quality - it's a wall of overdubbed and overlayered mush - so much so that the vocal is down in the mix and you cannot hear hardly a word that is being sung. In fairness the guitars do sound like Tom and at times the vocals (and trademark layered harmonies) sound like Boston of old too but the songs are just weak, lacking in energy, imagination and good hooks.
In places I found myself thinking, "At last. Here we go..." as amazing Brian May-esque harmony guitars kicked in but they never went anywhere. Perhaps Freddie could have made a good fist (oops!)of one or two of the songs but as he and Brad are both dead that is hypothetical. If Tom had Queen's collective understanding of when 'less is more' then maybe some of the material could have been brought to life but i don't want to fall into the trap of blaming the production too much. While it certainly detracts, the key problem is the songs themselves. They have none of the catchy brilliance of More Than a Feeling, little of the sheer energy and fun of 'Rock'n'Roll Band', pitifully few of the hooks and riffs of Peace of Mind and none of the imaginative, extended prog-rock aspects of Foreplay/Long Time.
It's really sad to say it but, as others have already indicated, avoid unless you are a collection completist!
on 22 December 2013
However the Corporate America songs should have been bonus tracks tagged on at the end , Reminds me of Dio Intermission , great music on , but overall disjointed and obstructed flow , and very short , also missing toms point on people missing the 3 Corporate songs , surely everyone who wants to hear this would have heard C A by now ?
5 stars for musical quality
1 star for running order and repeated songs .
But glad that I bought it