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Album Review | ROCK

Boston tries to keep spirit alive on ‘Life, Love & Hope’

Kamal Asar

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As the years go by, it’s more clear than ever that Brad Delp was one of rock’s greatest pure singers. His death in 2007 created a huge void for the band Boston. Founder/producer Tom Scholz (above) does his best to compensate with multiple replacement singers on this new album (Boston’s first in 11 years), but it’s the three carryover songs with Delp that provide the most buzz. Two are either remixed or remade from the last disc, “Corporate America,” including “Someone” (with Delp soaring into his patented high-tenor realm) and “Didn’t Mean to Fall in Love,” showcasing some silky R&B stylings. Delp and Kimberley Dahme share lead vocals on the stately polemic “Sail Away,” about how the Bush White House botched the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. Most other songs are familiar Boston-style, love-song fare, with Scholz’s layered guitars and arena-rock riffs aligned behind different lead singers Tommy DeCarlo, David Victor, Dahme (a tender “If You Were in Love”), and Scholz himself on the erratic “Love Got Away.” What has gotten away is the magic that Delp brought, but give Scholz credit for trying to plug the gap, though with up-and-down results. Boston diehards will be intrigued, but the overall album might not translate to the general public. (Out Tuesday)

Essential “Sail Away”

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