Let me begin by saying that I am probably one of Boston's biggest fans on the planet. Boston, Don't Look Back and Third Stage hold the top three spots on my music wall of fame. Anyway, I've been waiting YEARS for Life, Love & Hope and finally listened to it today while running wire for my invisible dog fence. It sounds like a high-school band tried to imitate the style of Corporate America. Allow me to explain: The lyrics feel super shallow; the message is just right in your face, super plain, leaving no room for any interpretation. The blues/jazz influence that was prevalent in Boston's first three albums is nowhere to be found. The style influence is all Tom Scholz tricks: Bullet muting and that little drum shuffle pattern that he likes to do. Honestly, this felt like a Tom Scholz solo project. There wasn't that sense of unity that you get when the entire band contributes something. Had this been another band, I would have loved it, but the fact that this bears Boston's name leaves a lot to be desired. It just feels empty. The song that I felt even came closest to the original Boston sound was "Love Got Away." I kind of cried a little, and then went and blasted "The Launch" from Third Stage. Discuss.