Monday, October 5, 2015

Sound Check


cd BostonBoston

“Life, Love and Hope”


Let’s all just take a moment and appreciate the fact that there’s a new Boston album. It’s an actual, genuine thing that you can touch and listen to and everything. Let’s take another second to revel in the fact that the cover art looks… Well, go ahead, look at it again. Mmm. That’s some classic Boston, right there. “But what about the album?” you ask. “Is it any good?” you ask. Of course not. That’s partly due to the passing of vocalist Brad Delp. Without his signature tenor, Boston just isn’t the same, and the songs are all clearly wanting for Delp’s fire. But it’s also because Boston is locked in a time capsule. They’re looking to stick to a sound that was passed by long ago. Time, changing tastes and the icy hand of death are all conspiring against Boston. And yet, here we are. CV


Fleet FeetDM Art CenterIowa WildTrans Iowa

cd HansardGlen Hansard

“Drive All Night”


Write up a list of classic musical storytellers. Run through the great Troubadours and convince me that Glen Hansard doesn’t belong among their number. “Drive All Night” is a testament to how good Hansard is at his craft: It’s an EP — just a scant four songs long — but Hansard wrings more emotion and love and passion from those four songs than other artists can get out of whole LPs. The title track also features vocals from Eddie Vedder, but on this track the Pearl Jam front man feels superfluous. Hansard’s work is at its best when it’s at its most unfettered. The instruments in “Pennies in the Fountain” give the vocals the barest scaffold upon which to climb, and “Step Out of the Shadows” takes the idea a step further, removing the instrumentation completely. But the track you’re really here for is “Renata.” It’s a powerful, wrenching ballad that’s worthy of being counted among Hansard’s best. CV

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