First, one might ask why a Boston review on a Metal website?? Well, as many may already know I have a fairly wide spectrum in taste and have always been a big Boston fan from way back. I kind of struggled a bit with whether I should review the bands first studio effort in eight years. Looking at the album on paper, things look good. The band has always been very creative. Brad Delp returns. The band even have inked a new deal with Artemis Records which sometimes bodes well in creative freedom. Well, that may be a part of the problem with this release. There is a little too much happening here which causes too much departure from what we have grown to love from this amazing act. The album shows promise with the opening track 'I had a good time'. It's kind of a continuation of 'Walk on'. The album kind of goes down from there. 'Stare out the window' is okay in its own right although I wanted more Brad Delp on this release, but only get it on this track in the way of background vocals. Boston enter a techno sound with the title track 'Corporate America' which actually gets better with each listen. It's not really what the fans expect, but works better than alot of the other stuff. 'With you' is where I have to draw the line. I don't wanna hear Jewel style crap on this record and that is absolutely what this is. Sorry guys, but this one should've been placed on another bands album. The vocals are handled Kimberly Dahme which I believe is starting a bit of controversy. 'Someone' gets back on track with Delp handling leads. 'Turn it off' is another headscratcher. Sounds nothing like Boston in my opinion. 'Cryin'' unfortunately doesn't work much either. 'Didn't mean to fall in love' is another track I like. Delp sings wonderful as usual and this would've fit well once again on either 'Third Stage' or 'Walk On'. 'You gave up on love' is interesting. It's a good song that showcases the three singers and has a bit of an edge to boot. The final track 'Livin' for you' is a song that I have deinitely liked already. The song is live, but sounds like polished live.
I waited in anticipation for this release for quite a long time. Boston always seems to put alot of distance between releases. This album to me is a disappointment. I want to hear more Brad Delp. If he's available, use him to the fullest. Fans of the band really hold this band to a high standard due to the quality of the previous releases. Guess I'll have to spin 'Third Stage' a while longer. Well, quite a while longer due to the time between albums. Oh well.
Italian guitarist and songwriter Steve Saluto released his first solo effort 'Under' in 1998. The album showcases Salut's abilities not only as a shredder, but as a composer as well. 'Under' is not just your run of the mill noodling album. It has some pretty good songs with vocals that negate what some might believe would be just another instrumental album. As a matter of fact there are only 3 of the 11 tracks that are instrumental. The first which is the title track 'Under' and comes across with some very cool playing that reminds me a bit of Steve Vai on 'Passion and Warfare'. 'The Scarecrow' is a bit of the same. The other instrumental is titled 'Train Jumpers' and has a different feel. This track is my favorite of the three due to its balance in the instruments. It's an all out rocker in all areas. Looking at the remaining eight tracks that do have vocals, Bruno Carretta handles the vocals on seven of the eight with Franco Serena handling 'Just the startin' line'. Vocally the two are a bit different with Carretta being more effective in my opinion. Breaking down the remaining vocal tracks, there are a couple of lighter tracks including 'So far away' and 'Playing in the shadow'. Both tracks are atmospheric and presented very well. Equally as good in my opinion with Carretta's vocals being a real highlight in both. The barn burner of the album goes to 'Damn' lonely soul'. This song displays what makes Saluto special. Each musician generates his intensity and the whole thing comes across balanced. This is thanks to the composition skills of Saluto. This makes the listen better and sets the album apart from other shredders who tend to showcase themselves which often times makes for a boring listen. This one doesn't fit that in any way.
Not being very familiar with Steve Saluto, I was definitely pleasantly surprised. The songs are all well written and delivered and the listen is very good. This is an album for shredders that doesn't just appeal to shredders. Due to the complete package presented, the shredding is the icing on the cake. One other mention. The album is available domestically. Very nicely done!