Friday, August 29, 2008
CD of the Day, 8/29/08: Jim Boggia-Misadventures In Stereo
Boggia is back. Those three words are all some power pop fans will need to hear, but for the uninitiated, Jim Boggia is one of the top artists in the power pop field these days, and Misadventures In Stereo, his followup to 2005's superb Safe In Sound, is another feather in his cap. He's been a session pro for years, and he's a musician's musician.
You know you're in for quality right away with the catchy "Johnnie's Going Down", an uptempo shuffle that combines clever lyrics, fine harmonies and a Bachrachian horn section and screams pop perfection. He has a way with the slower numbers as well, which comprise the middle of the disc: "No Way Out" is like a cross between Emmit Rhodes (who appeared on Safe In Sound) and Aimee Mann (who did likewise), while "So" and the wistful "Nothing's Changed" dive into Elliott Smith territory.
The tempo comes back with the disc's centerpiece, "8-Track", which seems on the surface an ode to the much-maligned and long-forgotten music platform. Boggia cleverly notes how songs were cut in half, how clunky the format was, and how his sister used to listen to them all the time. But then when he abruptly stops the song midway through, admitting that he was too young to listen to 8-tracks and never even really had a sister, the message of how we value nostalgia for nostalgia's sake comes through. Boggia follows with "Listening to NRBQ", a tribute of sorts to the legendary band which features a guitar solo from none other than NRBQ's Al Anderson. The Beatlesque "Chalk One Up for Albert's Side" is another highlight, and the album closes with the elegiac "Three Weeks Shy", a moving tribute to an Iraq war soldier who dies three weeks short of the end of his tour of duty, and which closes with a reading of the names of his fallen comrades in arms.
There's no misadventure here in picking up this disc - it's a pop tour de force that's a cut above most of the genre. Boggia has done it again.
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