Jim Boggia, Misadventures in Stereo (Bluehammock, 2008)

Jim Boggia is a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Michigan, who currently lives in Philadelphia. Misadventures in Stereo is his third album. His style is very eclectic, mixing elements as diverse as pub rock, R&B, and sixties-style horns, and putting fun songs side-by-side with very serious ones.

Boggia likes to tell stories in his songs. As the title suggests, the ten songs on this album deal with misadventures of various sorts. Relationships end, people get much deserved come-uppances, and priceless LP collections get auctioned off on eBay. Boggia's breakup songs are often refreshingly amicable, distinguishing him from most other pop songwriters of either gender. On "Listening to NRBQ" and the single "On Your Birthday," for example, Boggia looks back with fondness at relationships from the fairly distant past. He also keeps an element of mystery in some of his songs. On the rocking opener "Johnnie's Going Down," it's not quite clear what Johnnie did to provoke people's wrath, or what was done to him in response. Similarly, on "Chalk One Up for Albert's Side," you never find out what the school nerd did to turn the tables on the jocks.

Most of Misadventures in Stereo is light-hearted, but Boggia end the album on a very somber note. "Three Weeks Shy" is about a soldier stationed in Baghdad who almost makes it to the end of his tour of duty. It's a very jarring ending, especially when a lady starts reading off a list of deceased soldiers, but the fact that the situation in Iraq is generating less news coverage without really improving much makes songs like this necessary.

All told, Misadventures in Stereo is a worthy offering from a relatively new performer with a decent amount of talent. "On Your Birthday" in particular is a keeper, although the whole album is worth a few listens. I'll be curious to hear more from Jim Boggia in the future.

Overall grade: B+

reviewed by Scott

1 comment:

mockstar said...

Love this record so much.