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Life, Love & Hope

3.1 out of 5 stars 397 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

The legendary BOSTON return with a brand new studio album after a 10+ year hiatus from releasing new material. Centered around the incredibly gifted guitarist, keyboardist, songwriter, and producer Tom Scholz, 'Life, Love & Hope' is a reflection on how certain traumatic events can impact people s lives. The new songs bring an uplifting message delivered around the classic guitar and vocal harmonies of Boston's classic sound, which are a true trademark of the band. Vocalists on the album include Brad Delp, Kimberley Dahme, David Victor, Tommy DeCarlo and Tom Scholz himself.
Of the album, Tom Scholz said, 'These are all songs from the heart, each of them taking many months of effort to write, arrange, perform and record, always up to the demands of BOSTON's harshest critic, me. They have all been meticulously recorded to analogue tape on the same machines and equipment used for BOSTON's hits for the past 35 years.'
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 3, 2013)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Frontiers Music Srl
  • ASIN: B00FR0GT9Y
  • Average Customer Review: 3.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (397 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,617 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I gave it three stars instead of two because of the guitars. It's not a bad album, it's not bad music, but I miss the Boston I grew up with and it seems that these are mostly love songs that Journey and Air Supply might write if they got together. Where's the energy of Don't Look Back, the rock of Smokin', the balls of Rock and Roll Band? The band sounds great but the songs don't rock for me. I thought a couple of songs we're going to take me there, but alas, it wasn't to be. Good music, not great rock and roll.
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I will say that this hurts me to write this review. I have been a Boston fan since I was a kid, listening to my older brother's cassettes of Boston-Boston and Don't Look Back until they began to wear out. I have seen them live in concert (4 times in total) during the Delp era and after with Sweet and DeCarlo and with the various musicians that have filled the live in concert spots (some better than others). People seem to throw out masterpiece and classic a lot these days when it comes to their favorite bands and albums but Boston's first album was one that is Rock Hall worthy with its awesome guitars and rock sound that influenced rock musicians for decades after. Unfortunately for us fans, Scholz has been notoriously difficult to get along with, fighting with the labels and with band mates.

And through all that, the wait has gotten longer and longer for us eager fans hoping that a new album would come out. I liked 3rd Stage, Walk On, and even Corporate America, even though I didn't think they reached to the heights of that first Boston album, a tough feat in even the best of circumstances.

After hearing that Boston had been working on some new material prior to Delp's death, the fan in me hoped again that Boston would rise out of the ashes and bring something great. And even after the passing of Brad and hearing DeCarlo's ability to sound a bit like him, I continued to hope that with a mix of some of the tracks that Delp had recorded prior and some new stuff that a great album would eventually make it out of Scholz's basement. So I waited and waited and nearly 11 years later, the announcement came that in December, Boston's new album would finally arrive.

And so, what do we get after all this time??
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Format: Audio CD
I just picked up the new Boston album, Life Love & Hope, online. Don't waste a penny on this. Want to hear more? Read on...

The hardest part of this is that I was a HUGE fan of the first album, and to a lesser extent, Don't Look Back. What I mainly hear on this release is a half-hearted rehash of ideas and sounds Tom Scholz has been recycling since Third Stage, which for me was barely tolerable, and certainly the beginning of the end.

Drums: The worst drum machine sounds I have ever heard. And that's saying a lot. The programming is ridiculous, these are drum patterns no real drummer would ever come up with, way too busy and completely without feel. On top of that, the drums are mixed at about half of the volume they should be for a 'rock' album.

Guitars: Yes, Tom, you invented the Rockman sound. Now quit it already. The first two albums rocked because you tracked through amplifiers. This sound is way over processed and has no balls whatsoever. The parts are all meandering and without focus, and there's too many of them on every song.

Vocals: Yes I hear Brad Delp in there in places. I also hear lead vocals by a thin voiced female singer that sound totally out of place. What I don't hear are vocal melodies like those that made the first two albums memorable.

Songs: I don't hear any of these at all. There is also a glaring lack of 'hooks' like those that made Boston a household name. No amount of studio production, or decades between albums, will make up for a lack of actual music. The third song, an instrumental, would fit nicely on a Mannheim Steamroller Xmas album.

Long story short, with just the talent within my circle of musician friends, we could write an album of songs that sound a lot more like Boston, that actually rock, and that someone might actually want to hear. Please do not frustrate yourself by buying or listening to this terribly failed attempt at rekindling the Boston fire.
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Format: Audio CD
Good Grief! This album is horribly produced! The mix is the poorest I've ever heard on any album. Seriously can you not hear that?
I was listening to it on Rhapsody and it's the only album mix that sounds flat and doesn't stand out. Isn't Tom Scholz supposed to be the production master? Not sure what happened but I can't even hear the vocals buried under the bad drum kits. No screaming guitars? What's up? Only 30 minutes of music after another long wait between albums? The album art is cool as it always is with that guitar drifting further away from the planet though. Sorta symbolic don't ya think?
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
An 11-year wait, only 8 new songs, the same abismal drumming technique that EVERYONE hates, and a mish-mash of lead and backing vocals - and perhaps many various other things to complain about. Hmmm, how can there be anything redeeming about this thing called, "Life, Love & Hope"?

Despite all of the negatives, I actually enjoy much of the music created here. All 8 of the new songs include at least something very listenable - and even enjoyable. I won't just gloss over the negatives though. The drumming is not so horrific in that if you had never heard real live drums, you might not agree to the degree that so many criticize Tom's "drum triggering" voo-doo. But it is downright criminal not to use a live real drummer when you have two who are listed as current band members! Properly mixed, that by itself would have the potential to push this album to 4 stars in my view. The other big problem, in my view, is the vocals are all over the place. Sometimes mixed too deep, sometimes too out front and much of the time too many of them. Tom apparently didn't learn from that mistake on "Corporate America". When I heard Tom was singing lead on one song, I thought oh god now he's completely lost it. But for whatever miracle ocurred , he's not half bad. "Love Got Away" is a very decent song, and I have come to like it quite a bit. There are other moments where I think the vocals are pretty good too. David Victor and Tommy DeCarlo have their moments, and I wish they were the focus on all or at least the majority of the songs. The secondary lead vocals on "Heaven on Earth" are really good at times, and I'm guessing the guest vocalist, Louis St. August, is partly responsible for that.
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