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  • Tom Sholz said in the liner notes of “Third Stage” that without Brad Delp’s vocals, it just wouldn’t have been a Boston album. He was right. It took 3(!) different vocalists blended together to approximate Brad Delp’s vocals on this album and the songs suffer from it. Fran Cosmo (of Barry Goudreau’s solo projects) has taken over the lead vocals of this album and does a servicable job, but it just doesn’t sound right. Something is missing from each of these songs besides Brad. While each song has great moments of that classic Boston sound, each has an element that brings the song down a notch or two. “I Need Your Love” is sheer Boston, and you almost don’t miss Brad Delp’s voice. “Surrender To Me” has a classic Boston chorus with wonderful harmonies, but the song is marred by a rhythmic THUD throughout the song. “What’s Your Name” is a pretty decent song as well, even though every time it starts, I think I am listening to “Bette Davis Eyes.” Overall, this album suffers from being overproduced. It sounds as if Tom intentionally mixed down the vocals so you couldn’t tell that it wasn’t Brad singing, and it makes everything sound like mush. Most of the songs sound like generic rock tunes done in a Boston style, which is too bad. Way back when “Third Stage” was in production, Tom was conducting blind tests using different singers with varied success. He should have redirected his energy into convincing Brad to return.

    Posted on January 2, 2010