Don’t go for Boston’s Corporate America thinking Tom Scholz has gone Chomsky-metal and decided to indulge in rock social criticism. The title’s a red herring, the recording mostly about loves lost, unrequited or indulged in briefly. Corporate America gets a mild whine, but it’s not in the best song on the album—it’s pretty much nothing, next to Tom Scholz’s velvet-hammer power chords and the classic-rock choruses of “I Had a Good Time.”
Everything’s intact from whenever Boston’s last album came out—twin-guitar leads, über-James Gang/Joe Walsh cops—cripes, Scholz even requotes himself to good effect. The MIT engineering skills guarantee scientific attention to mechanics and quality no matter how many decades elapse. In the between time, Scholz started and quit a business in a handheld guitar amplifier that gave Def Leppard the sound on the entirety of its money catalog—which is another way of saying that this album stylistically merges with the Leps. In fact, put Joe Elliott into the lead vocals of “You Gave Up on Love” and it’s better pyromania than much the Limeys have managed in, well, a decade and change. (I do believe there’s a case to be made for the claim that Tom Scholz, more or less, invented Weezer, too, while we’re at it.)
On the inside cover of CA, everyone in Boston looks better than they did in the ’70s. Credit better textiles, or perhaps it’s just a case of being uncorporate or not really going anywhere near the typical big-deal rock mainstream (except for the rich as Croesus part) lifestyle for 25 years. It continues to amaze me how the Boston man makes such sweet-sounding, brawny pop-metal. “Vegetarians rock!” Scholz claims, which from anyone else’s mouth would be enough to make you gag. But in this case, it is nettlesomely 100 percent true.