Jim Boggia

Fidelity Is the Enemy

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Gee, this sure doesn't sound like a debut album. Jim Boggia has worked as a songwriter and accompanist for a handful of artists, some well-known (Jill Sobule, Juliana Hatfield, and Bernadette Peters) and some obscure, but Fidelity Is the Enemy is his first LP as a headliner, and it's a strikingly accomplished and confident set. Boggia's reference points are all rooted in classic pop -- the Beatles and the Beach Boys loom especially large in his pantheon, with an a cappella lift from Pet Sounds linking two tracks and "Peter Pan" and " Weather" bearing no small resemblance to the White Album-era Fabs (the latter also tips its hat to Simon & Garfunkel in its coda). But while Boggia clearly looks to the past for inspiration as he spins cardboard flexidiscs on his Fisher-Price phonograph, his music boasts an energy and crisp precision that sound very much a part of the 21st century, and the soulful gravity of Boggia's vocals, an inspired blend of silk and sand, is a more compelling instrument than your usual pop obsessive has to offer. Boggia's songwriting chops are impressive, and these tunes show off a maturity and a grasp of real world victories and defeats that make the pleasures of his sunny melodies sound like they were richly earned, and the rotating cast of producers, engineers, and musicians who helped him pull the whole show together deliver uniformly excellent work. It usually takes plenty of practice and a few years of trial and error to come up with an album whose craft is as impressive as what Jim Boggia delivers on Fidelity Is the Enemy, and it's daunting to imagine what he might have to offer two or three more albums down the line.

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