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Boy George and Culture Club: Life

Boy George and Culture Club
Life
(BMG Rights Management (UK) Ltd)

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A synth bleating bass and snapping percussion from the fantastic “God & Love” gets us up and moving for the 11-song wonderfulness that is Boy George and Culture Club’s new album Life.  Although the songs come at you at different tempos, mostly what we get here is groovin percussion, lots of horn interplay and George’s voice, lower, but stronger than ever across a bunch of gems.

“Bad Blood,” a slightly slower tune, gives forth a flumping low bass and piano R&B vibe. “What Does Sorry Mean,” a full on 70’s MOR stance and the horn rockin’ of “Resting Bitch Face” keep your toes tapping; I love the sardonic lyrics and its crazy groove.

A little past midway we get two ballads that really show off Boy George’s voice. The ballad “Oil & Water,” builds around his impressive interpretation, complete with a well-placed and played guitar lead; the production here is spot on. The strings move in expertly and at no time are we being manipulated for the drama. Then “More Than Silence,” lifts up even further, just when we thought we had heard as good-as-it-gets ballading from George with “Oil & Water.” Hung on a single guitar melody line and Boy George’s best vocals on the album (and that’s saying a lot) this is an absolute gooseflesh-inducing dramatic tune. The best here for sure.

The title track ends, another gospel read, George singing over backing “oohs,” working into handclaps and piano. A wonderful positive way to end a wonderful album, Life.

 

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