For all the bad press heaped these days on vintage stadium rock, Boston's Artemis debut resonates with a crisp, fresh energy that's hard to find in the downscale aesthetic of post-punk. As Tom Scholz fans might expect, a metallic sheen gleams across the surface of each track, adding luster to resonant anthems like the politically correct title track as well as more intimate acoustic moments on "With You" and elsewhere. (The same sleek textures coat the album's one live track, a cover of "Livin' for You" that's marred only by the electronic snare drum, which sounds distressingly like the zap of a toy space gun.) Acoustic guitars glisten in fields of dewy reverb, while Scholz's electric leads and fills project a streamlined muscularity. The vocals, delivered by a rotating cast of guests, range from arena stratospherics to whispery folkisms; in the fashion of Phil Spector, Scholz is more concerned with blending them into his timbral landscape than with encouraging interpretive profundities. But that's fine, for Boston has always centered on one man's sonic fantasies, and for better or worse these are undimmed and as assertive as ever, even in the era of Corporate America.
Corporate America Review
by Robert L. Doerschuk