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Boston - Life, Love & Hope

Life, Love & Hope
by Lior "Steinmetal" Stein at 05 December 2013, 7:45 PM

Apparently there is always room of high quantities of love and extra spaces for emotions. I know it sounds weird and you can put extra cheese on that, but hey, nothing can be done or avoided there. When it comes to AOR music, and of course the impassioned Rocking nature of one of the earliest bands in the trade, the American BOSTON, which actually played in the 70’s a rather melodic Hard Rockin flavor, but throughout the years immersed itself with 80’s keyboards’ fused AOR. It has been a decade since the band’s previous “Corporate America” album; however, it has been also six years since the demise of the BOSTON’s legendary vocalist, Brad Delp, which committed suicide in 2007. Can’t really be sure what the band’s chief songwriter and leader, Tom Scholz, had in mind after that awful tragedy, yet this here release of “Life, Love & Hope” that was almost a decade in the making, via Frontiers Records, coming as BOSTON’s sixth offering to the world, proved that the continuance of the band’s legacy would probably help remembering Delp and the bequest that he left behind. Without the ability to be compared with the prominent debut “Boston”, dating way back to 1976, I have to admit that Scholz and Co. haven’t lost the magical touch on producing a heartwarming Rock.

One of the probable plenty of definitions for the term easiness can be regarded as this album, a spacy kind of voyage, like the band’s ongoing artwork visions, through the human soul, spraying various sorts of states of mind and thought patterns, laidback material and stress-free for comprehension. The key, as it has always been with BOSTON, was the correlation of the sturdy harmonic guitars and cloudy keyboards and the cherry on top, the vocal production and execution. “Life, Love & Hope”, rather far from the debut’s Hard Rock edge, displayed such an enticing harmonious synchronization between the main roles, establishing a memorable flow, almost like a dream state. Sadly the overall mixing fouled a bit, particularly since the drums sounded like plastic, low in volume or mainly programmed, though I am sure it wasn’t the case at least on the programming count. Scholz’s riffs reminded me some of the early classics, gladly he maintained his old sound that enriched the crispy riffery that was smooth and easy. All the same with the keyboards assimilated the 80’s feel for the band’s better use, achieving an outer space kind of atmosphere that felt so deep.

Conceivably one of the reasons for “Life, Love & Hope” not reaching the same highest as the band’s previous submissions laid somewhat on the fact that in my bill the album’s best tracks were “Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love”, which is a remastered version from the previous “Corporate America” release, and “You Gave Up On Love” that is a recorded version with a few fresh rearrangements. The latter can be regarded as new as it also shared an incredible tri vocal dimensional synergy that was made to perfection. Secondly, the other tunes inspired to some extent, yet turned out to be quite regular without showing anything that would deem them as special. Truth be told that I could feel the burning heart out of them all, maybe less from “If You Were In Love” that is the capitalization of cheesiness, and also it asserted the notion that there is no actual replacement for Delp. BOSTON’s visualization on “Life, Love & Hope” is nonetheless captivating, and of course their melodic Rock enactment has never been less than outstanding, but I guess that it came out to a matter of hit or miss.     

3 Star Rating

1. Heaven on Earth
2. Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love
3. Last Day Of School (Instrumental)
4. Sail Away
5. Life, Love & Hope
6. If You Were In Love
7. Someday
8. Love Got Away
9. Someone (2.0)
10. You Gave Up On Love (2.0)
11. The Way You Look Tonight
Tom Scholz – Guitars / Keyboards / Vocals (8,10)
Gary Pihl – Guitars / Keyboards
Tommy DeCarlo – Lead Vocals / Keyboards
David Victor  - Guitar / Vocals (1)
Tracy Ferrie - Bass
Curly Smith – Drums / Percussion

Brad Delp (R.I.P.) – Vocals (2,4,7)
Kimberley Dahme – Vocals (4,6,10)
Jude Nejmanowski – Vocals (7)
Record Label: Frontiers Records


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Edited 01 April 2023

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