Boston is an American rock band from Boston, Massachusetts, that achieved their most notable successes during the 1970s and 1980s. Centered on guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer Tom Scholz, the band is a staple of classic rock radio playlists. Boston’s best-known works include the songs “More Than a Feeling“, “Peace of Mind“, “Foreplay/Long Time“, “Rock and Roll Band“, “Smokin’“, “Don’t Look Back“, and “Amanda“. They have sold more than 75 million records worldwide, including 31 million albums in the United States, of which 17 million were from their self-titled debut album and seven million were for their second album, Don’t Look Back. Altogether, the band has released six studio albums.
Life, Love & Hope is the sixth studio album by American rock band Boston. It was released on December 3, 2013 by Frontiers Records, making it their first studio album in eleven years.It is the first album released following the death of Brad Delp, Delp recorded vocals on the songs “Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love”, “Sail Away”, “Someone”, and “Te Quiero Mia”, the last of which being a re-arrangement of “I Had a Good Time”, from Corporate America.
Heaven On Earth—-When you first hear the strains of this music, the trademark sounds of Scholz are so familiar…it is that classic sound of modern day classic radio. The vocal is extraordinary…transporting me magically to a time long ago when this was the biggest band in the world. The vocal is incredible…not sure who is singing here…but the vocal melodies are right out of the classic Boston songbook…this is fantastic to me.
Didn’t Mean To Fall In Love—-This really, right from the onset sounds like an incomplete demo that was not really ready for release. The music drowns out the vocal at times almost totally. This was a cheap attempt to release something that Brad had contributed to…but it was not ready to go. Tom and his sound overwhelms and makes the vocal unforgettable….sad……
Last Day Of School—-Nicely guitar driven but still keeping that old school Boston sound, this has a driving instrumental backing that is huge and full of that Scholz magic. There is an almost sad feel that runs underneath the majestic music….this is almost epic…sounds really great.
Sail Away—-The beginning of this track gave me no hope what so ever. The vocal enters and helps to redeem the song a bit….I like the vocal…even though it sounds a bit hollow at times. I like the epic feel of the music…the female spoken word is unnecessary. I like this…but it is under produced and just a demo…needed more vocal work but Brad was gone by then. Just a way to cash in…I think.
Life, Love & Hope—-A much more Boston friendly sound, even this vocal sounds full and powerful. The trademark sound is here…the one I grew up with. Even though this is not Brad, the vocal matches the ebbs and flows of the music the same as the classic songs did. This is a modern day Prog-rock piece of great music. I really like this!
If You Were In Love—-Hmmm…..really almost unacceptable to me. I don’t like the vocal at all…this is not Boston but an imitation. Even the music that backs this track sounds uninspired and half finished…I rally do not like this…..done!
Someday—-Not a bad song…but not the Boston you expect or are accustomed to. I like the double tracked vocal…it almost impersonates Brad and that full sound that the band used to have. This just seems to be music that is going through the motions….the lack of inspiration is evident and clear. Time to retire the name and move onto something else. The female vocal that interrupts the song ruins any good feeling I had about this track…..
Love Got Away—-A nice ballad that is more acoustic at the onset and gives a fresh perspective of sound rather than trying to repeat the past. The harmonies are very Boston inspired but work well on this track. I don’t know who is doing the vocal…but the harmonies match and the song sounds full and rehearsed rather than rushed and incomplete. I rather like this.
Someone [2.0]—-I like the feel of the music as this track begins….full of the trademark Boston sound. The vocal is really nice…same as the song previous…the voice is clear and harmonious with the instruments…as Boston always was. The odd spoken word BS that enters before the chorus ruins this song for me. Just stick to the basics guys….you really know how to ruin a song.
You Gave Up On Love [2.0]—-This begins really great…with the chorus being the opening lines. The harmonies are huge and full…I like that….This sounds suspiciously like the last track in many spots though. The huge chorus…combined with Scholz music is great…the vocal really soars at points. This is nice….not to much fault with this.
The Way You Look Tonight—-Piano based from the onset, not something you normally associate with Boston. The vocal enters and is very pleasant and acceptable…there are few stellar moments to speak of though. This all just sounds flat and uninspired. This is sludge in my ears.
* out of 5