Oh Lord, not again! Has my least favourite purveyor of juvenile rants – songs seems to generous a term for his quasi-musical outpourings – cast yet another collection of his tedious attempts to shock out into the arms of the masses? Perhaps not for, in an unexpected turn, this is actually a reissue of his first album from 1995.
To keep his fans happy – if he actually has any left – much of this album seems, superficially at least, to follow the pattern of his recent work with his vocal limitations, copyright infringements and inept technical abilities still much to the fore. Yet, back then, the desire to shock had not overtaken him and the Charles – or Chick - instead heads off on an almost confessional journey through a world of personal torment. I would suppose that this might even, on those grounds, be termed his concept album as there is a cohesion present that was never to be found in anything he would later foist upon a fortunately unresponsive world and he actually steers these strangely literate songs with a surprisingly steady hand.
I have no idea why he has spent over twenty years digging a hole instead of staying on the path to the truth as, by following his version of the yellow brick road, he might even have breached the gates of the Emerald City.
I never thought that I would ever say this about a Charles – or Chick – Boyd album but this one isn’t going straight in the bin. The album is available as a free download from his website.
Best song? “Where Can A Good God-Fearing Christian Boy Go To Work Off A Little Steam”.
The verdict? Worthy.