Boney M.

10,000 Lightyears

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After three years of inactivity, Boney M. returned to the international charts in 1984 with 10,000 Lightyears. Like Boonoonoonoos, this album was a big production: it boasted a generous array of songs in varying styles and included the Munich Symphony Orchestra thickening the sound on a number of its tracks. Sadly, 10,000 Lightyears is a mixed effort in terms of songwriting. The best songs are on the first side, a sort of mini-rock opera about a future where the citizens of Earth are taken to a safer planet by benevolent aliens from a distant planet. The songs in this suite embellish simple but likable melodies with plenty of nifty synthesizer effects and orchestral flourishes to create songs that feel like an updated version of their early disco style. Highlights from this side include "Future World," which combines a hard rock guitar groove with spacy synthesizer washes that are further bolstered by an orchestral arrangement, and the atmospheric title track, which effectively contrasts a languid melody against a backdrop of busy percussion. Unfortunately, 10,000 Lightyears falls apart on its second side: its unrelated songs lack the strong connective thread of the first side and it is also weighted down by some filler. The worst of the filler tracks is a disastrous techno update of the bubblegum classic "Dizzy," which buries the song's lightweight charm in an oppressively dense electronic arrangement and is further hampered by the addition of a brain-dead hook where one of the singers spells out the song's title in a monotonous fashion. Ultimately, 10,000 Lightyears can't overcome its filler and is only recommended to hardcore Boney M. fans.

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