Track Listing
I Had A Good Time (1)
Stare Out Your Window (2)
Corporate America (3)
With You
Someone
Turn Off
Cryin'
Didn't Mean To Fall In Love
You Gave Up On Love
Livin' For You (Live)

(*) Best Tracks

Discography & (Rank)
Boston (1)
Don't Look Back (5)
Third Stage (4)
Walk On (2)
Greatest Hits
Corporate America (3)

Buy it if you liked:
Boston - Walk On
BOSTON
Corporate America
Artemis Records
Produced By: Tom Scholz
Running Time: 44.43 Genre: AOR
Release Date: November 5 Released:
WebLink: Boston LabelLink: Artemis
80%

A small update to the review. After a few days of reflection, I think the score doesn't reflect my true feelings; therefore it has been changed upwards to an 80. Not a big difference (only 5 points), and my comments within the review remain 100% as they were. I just think 75 was a little outside what it was worth.
Like so many melodic rock acts featured here, Boston have a huge dedicated fan base and with any release comes a myriad of divided opinion.
Given that albums are so few and far between for this band, those opinions are even more passionately given and defended.
Only a true masterpiece is likely to see fan opinions united. Given that this album isn't that, I expect the reaction to be quite varied. There will be some that love this album and I have no doubts that there will be others that loathe it.
Reviewing this record with impartiality - I find that it falls somewhere in the middle of those two views.
Coming 8 years after the last full studio album Walk On and 6 since the Greatest Hits album, Corporate America was always going to have expectations high.
For many, it will depend on what those personal expectations were when it comes to rating the album.
Personally, the debut is obviously a classic, but other than that, only Walk On rates highly.
I know some didn't take to that album, but I enjoyed it as a great high-tech melodic rock album.
Initially I didn't take to it, but after re-discovering it some months later, really grew to appreciate it - even though another couple of tracks would have made it even better.
With that in mind, I have been playing Corporate America religiously, to make sure my comments and feelings are accurate.
For me Corporate America is an extension of the sound and style started on Walk On. I feel this new album picks up where that album left off and continues the journey.
Once again, it's a fantastically produced slice of multi-layered high-tech melodic rock that few could beat.
But once again, there are short comings and a question mark over just what the majority of the fan base seemed to be longing for.
Corporate America sees a few interesting moves in the recording line-up. Back comes original vocalist Brad Delp, joining Fran Cosmo (with son Anthony Cosmo also on board) and a female vocalist has been added - the pop/country singer Kimberley Dahme. It is her inclusion on this album that has bought about the biggest debate.
Just like Walk On, this album has some simply amazing moments that remind you just why you are a fan of this genre of music and of Boston themselves. Some truly spine tingling, feel good moments.
But there are a few 'other' moments. Read on...
I Had A Good Time is a first class, first rate, fantastic, feel good, inspiring mid to uptempo rock track that I just can't get enough of. For me, this track will rate as one of the best for the year and is a welcomed addition to the Boston legacy. Featuring Brad Delp on vocals, the multi-layered high-tech rocker has a ton of positive emotion and layers of great harmonies.
Stare Out Your Window is a mid-tempo ballad featuring Fran on lead vocals and is another strong melodic rock classic, this time powered more by acoustic guitars, with that strong Boston guitar sound underlying the track.
The sound goes close to that of Walk On, especially with the vocal harmonies. The addition of Dahme adds texture to the very strong harmony vocals.
Corporate America is the track you all got a sneak peak of earlier when it was leaked to me.
Although not really like any other track on the album, it works well in it's place as an big uptempo high-tech pop track. Personally I think this is a gem of a track, with an original take on the whole Boston style. The mixing of lead vocals/harmony vocals and again the extra dimension of Dahme's vocals work to the song's advantage. The chorus is nothing short of fantastic, lifting the tempo 5 notches and bringing those hard hitting guitars right into your face. A winner for sure.
With You is where things take a dramatic turn for the worse. As an individual song, you can't fault it - it's beautifully produced, well sung and there isn't any reason why it wouldn't be a hit....elsewhere.
This is not a Boston song. Kimberley Dahme is up front on lead vocals for this totally acoustic country ballad. Bar a few examples of harmony vocals and some brief end track soloing by Tom Scholz, it's unrecognizable and feels like somehow the Boston CD was removed from the CD player and replaced by the new Judds album.
This would make a great country single, but there is absolutely no question that this track should not be on this album. And what's more, it's totally in the wrong place, instantly cutting the momentum built by three strong opening tracks.
Someone is much better. This moody mid-tempo rock track is another great example of everything Boston and with Brad Delp again featured on lead vocal, you begin to wonder why he couldn't have been the album's only vocalist. More strong harmonies and a solid guitar fill from Tom.
Turn Off is the band updating their sound to a more tuned down-friendly audience. It's darker and almost feels like a modern rock track. In fact, it's the heaviest Boston song I have heard and features a great vocal from Fran. Dark, moody, heavy and pretty cool.
Cryin' sees the return of the acoustic guitars. Fran's singing, on a track that again features a somewhat modern rock feel, although the acoustic guitars strip that sound back a bit. A solid and catchy song that features a few production effects and could find a home on modern rock radio. No sign of 'that' guitar sound until later in the song.
Didn't Mean To Fall In Love sees Brad back for lead track number 3. This song is stylistically much like that of Walk On again. Again features the very high-tech, multi-layered feel of the earlier tracks. More acoustic guitars are featured in the layers of additional instrumentation, as is the old Hammond organ. A typical Boston sound will see this track favoured by long time fans. Could have used a bigger chorus.
You Gave Up On Love is another track that sees vocalists mixed and varied - from Brad, Fran and Kimberly also. Her lead lines turn the song into an almost-duet. A strong song which is well produced, fabulously multi-layered and uptempo.
The inclusion of Livin' For You (Live) is a case of what should never have been. The track is excellent - no doubt about that - but we knew that 8 years ago! Why on earth would you include an old live version of an old track on a new studio album?
As good as this track is, like track 4, this has no place on this album and ends the record on a sour note.

Also - a little has been said about my side album rankings. That's nothing to do with the overall review, but is just my personal take on what albums I prefer as an individual. Good to see it's a talking point. Why this and Walk On are placed ahead of the second album? As great as Don't Look Back is - it just wasn't an album that featured highly in my life. Walk On did (personal reasons - the music matched my feelings at the time). Hope that explains that!

The Bottom Line
As I indicated earlier - I hold mixed feelings for this CD. Some stunning melodic rock anthems and multi-layered AOR ballads that will remain popular with me for some time.
But in-between, a couple of mis-placed tracks that interrupt the flow of an otherwise solid album.
I ultimately will rate this about the same as Walk On, in a positive context, but ultimately this is another case of what could have been.
I would love to see Brad back as vocalist for a full album. I'll mark my calendar for 2010 and hope it comes true.
Sundries - the running order of tracks leaves something to be desired, as With You is not at all suited where it is. Artwork and running time are ok, but again, take out 2 tracks that shouldn't have been on the album and the running time is down to 35 minutes. Not great...

Additional Ratings
Songwriting
85%
Attitude
70%
Production
90%
Sundries
50%

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