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 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 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 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 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 14 February 2014
Well, after 11 years, it finally arrived. You have poured your heart and soul into this (you say), and its what Boston is all about.
Strewth. 29 minutes of new music and 3 re-hashes? After 11 years? Please....
I won't even bother to talk about the re-hashes, Tom, as they were better left alone when they were originally issued.
The new stuff, well.....first off, I'd hire a drummer Tom. You know, the backbone of rock, the beat......not a machine, which is frankly what this sounds like all the way through.
Then, I'd avoid endless tinkering with the songs to try and achive perfection, and concentrate on coming up with some good tunes. You know, like you used to do 35 years ago....things that get people's feet tapping and they sing along to.
This is the first Boston album where there isn't one song I found myself doing that to. Some good sounds in there, but no good songs.No feeling....no soul....no bloody good, mate!
A real shame, as there's so much goodwill among rock fans, wanting a great Boston album. Sadly, I guess the creative spark has been extinguished, so, instead of following the advice given on the title of your second album, we will definately have to look back to remember just how good Boston used to be.
Enjoy your retirement Tom.
on 14 December 2013
Oh dear. I have listened to some great new albums this year from some long standing bands such as saxon, deep purple, black sabbath and motorhead. This i'm afraid to say is the worst album i have bought for a very long time, i expected better from Tom Sholz, it is almost as if the guy has given up and has just put together what he had available and said that will do fine. I should have listened to the dj on planet rock advice and saved my money, one for completists only.
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 17 March 2016
Even though this is a good CD, I was a bit disappointed with it. It's just not Boston anymore without the original members. Brad Delp has passed on and Barry Goudreau has disappeared in to oblivion. Two songs on the CD are taken from their previous CD, Corporate America. As soon as track 7 started to play, the first thought that came to mind was that it sounded more like an Electric Light Orchestra song. Other than that, overall, it's a good one but not their best.
on 9 December 2013
I am a Boston fan - or perhaps I should say I WAS?
This really takes the biscuit and I am bitterly disappointed in Tom Scholtz.
"More Than A Feeling" is, perhaps, one of the most iconic songs ever.
The first four Boston albums were good - polished and played to perfection. Indeed, "Walk On" is my favourite.
Then came "Corporate America" and cracks started to show. Scholtz seemed to be getting into a very repetitive loop; I found it hard to engage with that album.
Of course there is also the issue of waiting with Boston, one has to wait a LONG time to experience new material.
Well - I as far as I am concerned this was NOT worth an ELEVEN year wait!!
There are 11 tracks and THREE of them ("You gave up on love", "Someone", and "Didn't mean to fall in love"), come from "Corporate America" an album which appeared to vilify corporate deception; well in my very humble opinion "Life, Love and Hope" is just that!
The new material is okay but I felt that I had heard it ALL before!
Multi-layered guitars and vocals feature widely - all the regular Boston trademarks. But it sounds uneventful and all too familiar.
No - I am sorry, this has really irritated me; in short - I am gutted!!
Ardent followers of a band will often buy anything but, for me, this is asking too much.
Just to be clear, I was able to listen to this, prior to making a purchase; this was very fortuitous as I now have no intention of buying it!!
Eleven years - then this. Approximately 28 minutes of "new" music!!!