Life, Love & Hope

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Life, Love & Hope
Boston Life, Love & Hope.jpg
Studio album by Boston
Released December 3, 2013
Recorded 2003–2013
Genre Hard rock
Length 42:52
Label Frontiers Records
Boston chronology
Corporate America
(2002)
Life, Love & Hope
(2013)

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.[1][2] It is the first album released following the death of Brad Delp and is the final one to include him on vocals.[3] 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.

Background[edit]

Life, Love & Hope follows up the band's 2002 release, Corporate America. Tom Scholz produced Life, Love & Hope and wrote all of the tracks. Kimberley Dahme makes a vocal performance on several songs as well as the late Brad Delp (who performs on the new song "Sail Away" as well as rearranged songs from "Corporate America").[4] This album also features new vocalists such as David Victor, Louis St. August, Tommy DeCarlo, and Jude Nejmanowski. It is also the first Boston album to feature Tom Scholz on a lead vocal ("Love Got Away").[4]

Style[edit]

Matt Wardlaw of Ultimate Classic Rock says "‘Life, Love & Hope’ carries remnants of those early days in its sound — which is unmistakable from the moment the soaring harmonies kick in on ‘Heaven on Earth,’ the album’s opening track and lead single. It provides a vintage moment on an album that otherwise contains quite a bit of exploration, both musically and sonically — something that we’ve come to expect from Scholz when he’s working in the backroom on new Boston music."[5]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 47/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 2.5/5 stars[7]

Life, Love & Hope received 47 out of 100 from Metacritic.[6] It earned 2.5 stars from AllMusic's reviewers and 3.5 stars from the AllMusic users. AllMusic reviewer Tim Sendra added, "David Victor, sounds a lot like Delp and does a fine job filling his shoes on the album's best song, Heaven on Earth".[7] Matthew Wilkening from Ultimate Classic Rock called it "a rather frustrating, confusing affair", continuing on to say that "Heaven on Earth" had "a perfectly infectious chorus and that famous Tom Scholz guitar tone."[8] Rolling Stone writer Chuck Eddy said "Everywhere, Tom Scholz fine-tunes the angelic-choir harmonies and aerosol-guitar crescendos until they're spotlessly, unmistakably Bostonlike". Life, Love & Hope received 2.5 stars from the Rolling Stone reviewers and 3 stars from their users.[9]

Commercial performance[edit]

In its first week of release, the album charted No. 37 on the Billboard 200, with 16,321 copies sold. However, the album's sales fell rapidly after the first week, and it exited the chart after three weeks.

A vinyl double album, limited to 1,000 copies, the release of which was delayed several times and was released in late 2014, a complete year after the original release date. However, the release of the vinyl version of 'Life, Love & Hope' did not receive the blessing of Tom Scholz. According to Scholz via a facebook post of BOSTON's facebook page, “unacceptable vinyl master” was wrecked by “clicks, static and dropouts during many of the quiet segues between the cuts.” Scholz went on to explain, “Our summer tour was in full swing by the time I reviewed it, and there was no possibility of mastering again,” Scholz said. “I made the decision to reject the vinyl master — which meant all the effort to create it would be for nothing. Or so I thought.”[10] Despite intending to scrap the vinyl project completely due to the damaged master pressings, the two disc vinyl pressing was released on 180g virgin vinyl on December 12, 2014.[11] While the release did not have Scholz's blessing, the gate folds of the LP do contain a message from Scholz, which reads, "When I started recording this album over ten years ago, I never thought I'd be running mixes for vinyl in 2014!" This suggests that while the master pressing did not have Scholz's blessing, he did intend to publish it eventually. The message goes on to say, "Many of the pieces on this vinyl edition are entirely analogue, mastered directly from mixes made from 24 track to stereo tape, with no digital interface or editing. While this added many weeks to the production time, the natural sound of these track could only be accomplished by preserving the analogue waveform from instruments to vinyl."[12]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Tom Scholz, except as noted. 

No. Title Lead Vocals Length
1. "Heaven on Earth" (All instruments, Harmony & Backing Vox: Tom Scholz) David Victor with Louis St. August as a special guest.[4] 3:37
2. "Didn't Mean to Fall in Love" (remastered version from Corporate America - Written by Scholz, Curly Smith, Janet Minto[4]) Brad Delp 5:13
3. "Last Day of School" (Instrumental written and performed by Tom Scholz.[4])   2:02
4. "Sail Away"   Delp, Kimberley Dahme 3:42
5. "Life Love and Hope"   Tommy DeCarlo 3:57
6. "If You Were in Love"   Dahme 4:10
7. "Someday"   DeCarlo and Scholz with Jude Nejmanowski as a special guest.[4] 3:44
8. "Love Got Away" (Written by: Tom Scholz / All Instruments: Tom Scholz / Harmony Vox: Tom Scholz, Gary Phil[4]) Tom Scholz 4:28
9. "Someone (2.0)" (rerecorded/rearrangement) Delp 4:00
10. "You Gave Up on Love (2.0)" (re-arranged and re-recorded / Flute: Dahme / Harmony Vox: Beth Cohen[4]) Dahme, DeCarlo, Scholz 4:05
11. "Te Quiero Mia" (Best Buy & LP bonus track) Delp 3:38
12. "The Way You Look Tonight"   DeCarlo 3:52
13. "O Canada" (LP bonus track)   1:28
Total length:
47:54

Two special versions of the CD were created for the Japanese market. The first special version included a version of "Someday" with Tom Scholz on lead vocals as a bonus track. A second special version, to be released on July 23, 2014, will include the Scholz-led version of "Someday", the Best Buy bonus track "Te Quiero Mia", the LP bonus track "O Canada", and "God Rest Ye Metal Gentlemen", a reworking of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" which had previously only been (officially) released on iTunes.

Personnel[edit]

  • Tom Scholz - guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drums, vocals
  • Brad Delp - vocals
  • Gary Pihl - vocals, guitar
  • Kimberley Dahme - vocals, flute
  • Tommy DeCarlo - vocals
  • Curly Smith - partial writing credit for "Didn't Mean to Fall in Love", harmonica
  • David Victor - vocals
  • Louis St. August - vocals
  • Janet Minto - partial writing credit for "Didn't Mean to Fall in Love"
  • Jeff Neal - vocals
  • Jude Nejmanowski - vocals
  • Beth Cohen - vocals[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dukes, Billy. "Boston to Release First Album in 11 Years". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Life, Love & Hope: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-10-28. 
  3. ^ "Brad Delp: Details Emerge About His Tragic Suicide". Guitar World. April 27, 2007. Retrieved December 7, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Life, Love & Hope" Compact Disk Jacket (Standard Edition / FR CD 630)
  5. ^ Wardlaw, Matt. "Tom Scholz Explores ‘Life, Love & Hope’ on Boston’s New Album". Retrieved 7 December 2013. 
  6. ^ a b "Life, Love and Hope Reviews". Metacritic.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  7. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Life Love and Hope - Boston". AllMusic. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  8. ^ "Boston, ‘Life, Love & Hope’ – Album Review". ultimateclassicrock.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  9. ^ "Boston 'Life, Love Hope' Review". www.rollingstone.com. Retrieved 2014-01-29. 
  10. ^ http://ultimateclassicrock.com/boston-life-love-hope-vinyl/.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  11. ^ http://www.discogs.com/Boston-Life-Love-Hope/release/6407049.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ "ThirdStage.ca".