Boulevard - 'Luminescence'

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Boulevard - 'Luminescence'

If there's any justice in the world, someone somewhere in the ivory towers of the mainstream music business will recognise this for what it is – brilliance.

It's always challenging, the part where twenty-seven years after your last record, you decide it's time to get back in the studio and record an album of brand new material; how will it sound, where will it go, will anybody care? Thankfully Boulevard really couldn't care less. They have, to put it simply, recorded twelve songs they believe in, paying no attention to formula or expectations, except that of the band itself.

In a day and age where many bands are but a pale imitation of their previous selves, Boulevard are better – better musicians, better song-writers and better performers, and the evidence is here for all to hear. Twelve absolutely stunning tracks indelibly stamped "Made In Canada By Experienced Craftsmen". Melodic Rock, AOR or just an awe-inspiring aural experience transcending the boundaries of what is or is not acceptable musically in any overly defined musical genre. Singer David Forbes has improved with age and the same can be said of the ever-youthful Mark Holden who has guided Boulevard's return.



Boulevard may have taken twenty-seven years between albums but the wait has been ultimately worth it. Boulevard have taken AOR outside its pre-defined parameters and taken it to another level. Make no mistake, this is Boulevard, this is AOR, maybe not enough people have opened their ears to anything not containing the tried and tested formula to consider how incredibly good some music can be. This is so good it defies reason. Recorded at Abbey Road Studios, the production sparkles to the point where bands considering recording at home should maybe rethink that strategy when you hear how everything here breathes effortlessly.

In the hands of any number of major artists today, this would be a major hit, but because this is Boulevard on a small label in a small genre, the chances are it may not be heard outside of the converted. In saying that, if there's any justice in the world, someone somewhere in the ivory towers of the mainstream music business will recognise this for what it is – brilliance – and offer them a deal. However, somehow, I don't think Boulevard care, they are more than happy with what they have achieved with 'Luminescence' – mainly because they care about what they release. A stunning album that deserves to sell in truckloads, not just to the people who read this magazine, but the greater music buying public at large.

Kieran Dargan

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