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Boulevard - Luminescence

Boulevard
Luminscence
by Dave "That Metal Guy" Campbell at 05 January 2018, 8:04 AM

Canadian AOR band BOULEVARD formed all the way back in 1984. Following some commercial success and big tours, they disbanded in the early-mid 1990’s. Following a recess of over two decades, the band is back now in 2017 with their latest release “Luminescence,” which contains eleven new tracks.

“Out of the Blue” opens with a mid-tempo swing, and harmonize vocals in the verses. Something about the song reminds me of the band CHICAGO or TOTO. It’s rich in melody as expected, but perhaps the brass (programming?) is where these reminders come into play. I am always in the mood for a good keyboard solo as well, and Andrew Johns delivers a nice one here. “Laugh or Cry” would make for a good single. A jovial melody works in unison with emotive vocals and the kind of high flying chorus that puts a smile on your face. “What I’d Give” is a pensive song with a longing that just makes your heart ache. It sounds like the story of lost love, and is wonderfully crafted; just something that you can immediately connect with.

Guitar work shines brightly in “Come Together.” It has a steady rhythm and really takes me back to those great songs of the 1980’s that you didn’t have to overthink, and just made you feel warm and good about things. “I Can’t Tell you Why” is a softer song with some introspective moments. The melody comes in layers of waves, building power and stamina in the chorus. The saxophone helps in this feeling as well, a bluesy passage that captures the emotions of the song. Piano and sad clean guitar notes lead off the song “Confirmation.” The verses are piano/keys and vocals only, with a sprinkle of guitar, which makes the big chorus and bridge all that more colorful. “Slipping Away” is more of a straight up rocker track, led by a simple but effective guitar riff, and strong vocal harmonies. Roll down the top to your convertible, crank it up, and hit the highway on a warm spring day. “Don’t Stop the Music” is a well-titled closing song. Could it be a hidden reference to the band coming back after all this time? Either way it’s a memorable affair of pretty melodies and a good stamp on an excellent album.

After a 27 year absence from their last release, it’s hard to imagine that any band could just pick back up and re-create the magic that they once had. Too many things have occurred in the band members’ lives I am sure, and so much had changed in the music industry. But, it seems BOULEVARD were able to step out of the proverbial time machine and capture those moments from the past pretty well. It’s surely one of the better AOR releases I have heard this year, and I am sure their fans will be pleased, as well as new ones coming their way.

Songwriting: 8
Originality: 7
Memorability: 8
Production: 9

4 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Out of the Blue
2. Life is a Beautiful Thing
3. Laugh or Cry
4. What I’d Give
5. Come Together
6. Runnin’ Low
7. I Can’t Tell you Why
8. Confirmation
9. Running Away
10. What are you Waiting For
11. Don’t Stop the Music
Lineup:
David Forbes - Lead Vocals
Dave Corman - Guitars
Andrew Johns - Keyboards
Mark Holden - Saxophone
Thom Christiansen - Bass
Randall Stoll – Drums
Record Label: Melodic Rock Records
     


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