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The Sun-Times - Heber Springs, AR
  • The Farr Side: Boy George is back with solid effort

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  • Just like a chameleon, Boy George, you come and go, you come and go.
    Thankfully for his fans, the iconic ’80s pop star is back.
    Boy George has returned with a new album, appropriately titled, “This Is What I Do.”
    I have to admit, I was waiting in line at the bank when this new song came across the radio that caught my attention. I mean I listened and thought to myself, “Could it be? No, that can’t be Boy George.” But it was. His new song, “King Of Everything,” was playing on the radio.
    I always liked Culture Club’s music, despite George’s obvious hang-ups and odd get-ups. How could you not be affected by his voice? His soulful vocals were infectious and the band’s music helped to define the ’80s scene. I knew a lot of closeted Culture Club fans.
    Many Culture Club’s hits are still played on the radio today including “Karma Chameleon,” “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me,” “Miss Me Blind,” “Time (Clock Of The Heart),” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya” to name a few of their many ’80s hits.
    Even after the band’s demise, George still surfaced periodically. His song, “The Crying Game,” earned him an Oscar nomination for Best Original Song from the movie of the same name in 1993. “The Crying Game” was his best work, in my opinion.
    Several years and several incarnations have passed since his glory days, including a brief stint in house music as a DJ and some non-commercially accepted albums, but his need to entertain the masses was always there.
    “This Is What I Do” is a real reflection into the man himself. It’s almost a look into the artistry that once was Boy George, only toned down a notch or two. The reggae-infused music works perfectly with his uncanny ability to create big pop melodies that get trapped in your head for days.
    “King Of Everything” truly is a fantastic song. His voice is deeper now, perhaps seasoned a bit from life experience and age. The song is a nice departure from manufactured songs and artists trying to fill his shoes today.
    On it, Boy George sings, “What’s the word on the street/Have I lost my crown/Will I be king again/Will I be king of everything.”
    All songs on the new album were written by George and longtime writing partners John Themis, Kevan Frost and Richie Stevens, who also helped pen many of Culture Club’s hits. Stevens produced the album.
    George teamed with an eclectic group of artists and musicians including DJ Yoda, Kitty Durham, Ally McErlaine, MC Spee, and Nizar Al Issa to make the record what it is — brilliant.
    Page 2 of 2 - Some featured tracks include “Love And Danger,” “Live Your Life,” “Feel The Vibration,” “Bigger Than War,” and a cool rendition of Yoko Ono’s “Death Of Samantha.”
    By George, I think he’s got it. “This Is What I Do” is definitely the biggest surprise in music this year.
    David T. Farr is a Sturgis (Mich.) Journal correspondent. Email him at farrboy@hotmail.com.

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