Boston - 'Life, Love & Hope'

 

 

Tracklisting:
1.) "Heaven on Earth" - This track opens with a classic seventies Boston riff.  After the opening riff, Tom begins singing the opening verse.  After the first riff, there was a rhythm guitar change.  Underneath the rhythm guitar of the second lyric line there was a minor lead guitar lick.  The drum and bass line kicks in in between the third and fourth lyric lines.  The rhythm change and hook of the chorus had a huge classic Boston sound to it.  Underneath the rhythm guitar rhythm and lyric lines of the second verse there was a minor solo.  The licks of the solo are the same notes as the lyrics.  After the second chorus there was a tempo and timing change.  This lead to a very simple lead guitar solo arrangement. 
2.) "Didn't Mean to Fall in Love" - The intro of this track opened with the special effects of a telephone ringing over the top of a keyboard arrangement and drum line.  The drum line of this section had an electronic feel to it.  There was a small snare drum fill connecting the intro with the main intro section.  There was a rhythm arrangement change for the music verse.  Over the top of the opening musical verse there was a backing vocal harmony singing the title of the song.  After the fourth lyric line of the first verse there was an acoustic lead guitar solo.  After the acoustic solo there was an arrangement change.  This arrangement change was very reminiscent to a lot of the stuff the band was doing on their first album simply titled Boston, released on August 25, 1976.  There was a minor lead guitar solo leading into the first verse. The rhythm of the chorus along with the way the lyrics was arranged had a classic Boston feel to them.  With that being said.  Are the choruses of this song as good as the choruses the band wrote on their first release?  I did not think they were.  There is a short keyboard rhythm connecting the chorus with the second musical verse.  There is a short keyboard chord connecting the first chorus with the second verse.  After the third verse there was an acoustic lead guitar solo.  Over the top of the acoustic solo Tom sings a few vocal accents.  There was a rhythm arrangement change.  This rhythm arrangement sounded very similar to the stuff the band was doing in the seventies.  This rhythm arrangement lead to a second lead guitar solo.  This second solo was an electric guitar solo.        
3.) "Last Day of School" -Instrumental
4.) "Sail Away" - This track opens with a keyboard arrangement over the top of a kick drum.  Boston bassist Kimberley Dahme sings this song.  After the first four lyric lines there is a repeat of the same four lyric lines.  The Kim is more or less speaking the lyrics as opposed to singing them. 
Underneath the lyric lines of the repeat you can hear the special effects of a helicopter.  There also is a rhythm guitar arrangement underneath the special effects of the helicopter.  After the second repeat there is a musical rest.  The main musical intro consisted of a piano arrangement.  Underneath the third lyric line the rhythm guitar kicks-in.  As the verse progresses there is a musical build-up.  This reminded me a lot of the stuff Styx were writing in the seventies.  Kim sings  a lyric line leading into the chorus.  There was a lead guitar rhythm underneath Tom's vocal lines of the chorus.  This song was kind of strange.
5.) "Life, Love & Hope" - There was a minor lead guitar solo over the top of this intro.  There was a rhythm change for the musical verse.  The way the guys arranged the lyrics gave the song a classic Boston sound.  Several of the lyric lines consisted of backing vocal harmonies.  There was a twin lead guitar solo connecting the first and second verses.  The second verse opened with just vocals and acoustic guitar. 
6.) "If You Were in Love" - This song was sang by Kim.  This track opened with a piano.  The second lyric line was double-tracked.  Underneath the third lyric line there was a lead guitar rhythm.  There was a small rhythm change for the musical chorus.  After the first chorus the song basically repeats itself. 
7.) "Someday" - This track opened with a lead vocal line.  The rhythm guitar riffs of the musical verse had a very simple feel to them.  It sounded to me as if the drum line was done with a drum machine or for you kids out there a computer.  The last three lyric lines were double tracked.  The lyric lines of the short chorus had an early Boston sound.  The first couple lyric lines of the third verse were done by a female.  There was a minor lead guitar solo underneath the chorus.  There were several lead guitar licks scattered throughout the rest of the song.  
8.) "Love Got Away" -  The backing harmonies and acoustic guitar are really the only thing on this song I really cared much for.    
9.) "Someone" (2.0) - This was a re-mix.  The original version of this song was on the CD titled, 'Corporate America' released on November 5, 2002.
10.) "You Gave Up on Love" (2.0) - This was a remix.  The original version of this song was on the CD titled, 'Corporate America' released on November 5, 2002.
11.) "The Way You Look Tonight" - This was probably the best song on the release.



     'Life, Love & Hope' is just Boston's sixth studio CD since releasing their self-titled debut on August 8, 1976.  It is not only their first studio release within the past eleven years but also, the first one since the passing of longtime member Brad Delp.  It saddens me to say that Brad took his own life on March 9, 2007.  'Life, Love & Hope' features Brad singing on three songs.  These songs are, "Sail Away", "Someone (2.0)" and "You Gave Up On Love (2.0)".  Tom stated and I'm paraphrasing here that he re-recorded the songs "Someone" and "You Gave Up On Love" from their 2002 release ' Corporate America' because he did not like the original production.  I hate to tell Tom but the new re-worked versions are pretty damn bad!
     Boston is one of those iconic bands that have a very distinct sound.  One of them sounds when one of their songs comes on the radio you automatically know who it is.  "Heaven On Earth" which is sang by David Victor is the only real song that falls under this category.  All the guitar tracks on track two titled, "Didn't Mean To Fall In Love" are hugely reminiscent of that classic Boston sound people my age fell in love with however like most if not all the songs on the CD the lyrics fall short.
     In many ways, it is almost as if Tom found a bunch of songs that he had written over the years that the band never used then rushed to finish them.   
You really have to be a die-hard Boston fan to find anything of real market value on the release. Even at that, I do not know if they would find much.