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Articles Home » 2002 Articles » Boston - 2002 Corporate America
Boston - 2002 Corporate America

ARTIST: Boston
ALBUM: Corporate America
LABEL: Artemis
SERIAL: 751142-2
YEAR: 2002


LINEUP: Tom Scholz - guitars, keyboards * Fran Cosmo - vocals, guitars * Brad Delp - vocals * Gary Pihl - guitars * Anthony Cosmo - guitars * Kimberley Dahme - bass, acoustic guitar, vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Had A Good Time * 02 Stare Out Your Window * 03 Corporate America * 04 With You * 05 Someone * 06 Turn It Off * 07 Cryin' * 08 Didn't Mean To Fall In Love * 09 You Gave Up On Love * 10 Livin' For You (Live)


Don't quite know what to make of this album.. At the time of its release 'Corporate America' was absolutely slagged in the press and when listening to this album one can see why. When compared to Boston's glorious past, 'Corporate America' is sadly lacking. Not that it's any good - it's just VERY different that's all. Look, lets be honest, Boston (the band) are held in absolute reverence on this site. No two ways about it. Back in 2002, I do recall giving Tom and his band a big serve as to the merits of this album. I wasn't the only one. I did suggest at the time that with this album being so different, Tom should have gone out under a different banner other than Boston - and leave the legacy of the band's sound untarnished. No disrespect to Kimberley Dahme, who is an excellent musician in her own right, but hearing a woman singing on a Boston album borders on unforgivable. Someone described this album as a mix of 'five-parts Boston, the rest made up of Def Leppard, Green Day, Carly Simon and Jewel. Indifferent and lacking identity? Yep, you bet..

The Songs
As I indicated above, the album isn't a complete write-off. Some songs do work and I like them. These would include the opening pair of 'I Had A Good Time' and the power-packed title track 'Corporate America' - though the latter's arrangement is slightly unusual. The darkened edges of 'Turn It Off' is ok too, give it a few listens to appreciate the message. My only qualm with it is Cosmo's one-dimensional vocal. The band chuck in too many acoustic ballads for my liking. 'Stare Out Your Window' is one, 'With You' featuring Dahme on vocals is 'UN-Boston' you'd be questioning the merits of its inclusion. 'Cryin' also starts out with an acoustic intro, but works toward a modern rock affair with a melodic edge. It's different, it's good, but again it's not really trademark Boston. However, I do like it. The rich layers of 'Didn't Mean To Fall In Love' are extremely melodic, and the contains many good aspects to it (acoustic guitar as a lead instrument, the return of the signature organ sound, and similarities to the 1994 'Walk On' album in places). 'You Gave Up On Love' sees the vocals being shared all around, and as a result the song suffers. Structurally its a good song but not delivered that consistently on this album unfortunately. The closing track is a live rendition of 'Livin' For You' ( a track from their 'Walk On' album).

In Summary
I reiterate, 'Corporate America' is not a bad album, just that it's not a typical Boston that we are all used to. I doubt that Scholz has the gumption to bring Boston back to its glory days. Delp has now passed on, Goudreau is still on the outer - and would be better served resurrecting Orion The Hunter circa 1984 again (leave RTZ out of it, OTH is far superior!!), and nothing I've seen lately convinces me that Scholz can read the musical climate astutely. Put it this way, if 'Corporate America' was the result of him referring to the crystal ball back in 2002, then it doesn't augur well for any future releases does it? Personally I think he should find another lead singer in the vein of Brad Delp and ditch Fran Cosmo - who just doesn't cut it anymore.. sorry to say (reinforced by the poor 2006 album by Cosmo). Go back to drawing board, and go back to the recipe that made Boston successful in the first place. My advice? Don't tinker with the template Tom - give the fans what they want, not what you think they want..

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#1 | richardb on January 14 2008 13:24:32
As you rightly say George not a bad album but it does lack identity. Given the fact that Scholz is something of a perfectionist, perhaps it's unsurprising that most Boston fans have similarly high expectations?

Richard B
#2 | george_the_jack on May 09 2009 12:01:15
Just got this after all these years.I was rather scepticist (because of what I was reading the time it was released) and haven't bought this one 'till today.Well..I was so wrong.This is actually a GOOD album! I can easily pick up some great tunes such as "I had a good time', 'Corporate America', 'With You', "Someone', "You gave up on love'. If you haven't heard it yet, I think you should give it a try!
#3 | gdazegod on November 27 2011 13:24:05
I'll reiterate, what Scholz is doing beyond 2002 and 'CA' borders on silliness. Bringing in Michael Sweet was dumb, and as for that amateur singer joining on, what was that all about ? Boston Karaoke? Come on..
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