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Figgle.com: Review: Fidelity is the Enemy

No Comments 31 December 1969

figgle-music-stuff-for-you-20091206

ARTIST: Jim Boggia
ALBUM: Fidelity is the Enemy
LABEL: scrApple
RELEASED: 2001

Writing relevant pop songs is an art form. Jim Boggia, who calls Fidelity is
the Enemy his “love letter to pop music,” has done more than master
the basics; he has breathed new life into the genre while paying homage to those
before him. Borrowing graciously from Neil Finn, Stevie Wonder, and of course
Lennon and McCartney, Boggia’s pop sensibilities are on awesome display
here. If you’re a fan of Aimee Mann, Jill Sobule, Ben Arnold and Martin
Sexton, be prepared to wear-out this CD. Heart-tugging acoustic ballads lay
comfortably alongside surprisingly smart, multi-layered pop tunes that blend
elements of rock, soul and folk with whimsy and cautious optimism.

Jim takes us from 0 mph (the opener “So Full”) to 60 mph (”Toy
Boat”) effortlessly. He begins slowly, pulling us in with great acoustic
guitar work and glorious harmonies on the first track, and then reveals his
edgy, rock-n-roller side on the second. Pithy lyrics abound, but pretentiousness
does not as these songs hearken back to a more innocent time. We’ll call
it “yesteryear.” Jim calls his music “YesterPop.” Bare,
stripped-down songs like “Black and Blue” and “Weather”
allow Jim’s formidable vocal talents to shine, while the full, lush arrangements
of other songs lay his psychedelic influences on the table for all to hear.

One example of the latter is “Peter Pan,” a song that uses items
like a slinky, bouncing basketballs, and even bicycle bells to produce a mesmerizing
sound. Despite the literal bells and whistles, Boggia doesn’t resort to
hiding less-than-interesting lyrics behind his arrangements. Instead, he adds
these layers to reinforce his well-crafted message, singing “I’m childlike/that
doesn’t mean I’m childish/there is no contradiction” while a glockenspiel
chimes away in the background. He adds touches of sleigh bells and Theremin
all throughout the disc, which only helps to draw the listener deep into his
nostalgic, musical world. On Fidelity - unlike today’s boy-band offerings
- production enhances the songs without making them slick and substance-less.

I’m not the first to say it, but I’ll say it anyway: This album is good.really,
really good. The voice, the songs, the craftsmanship - it’s all there!

And as unbelievably mediocre as pop music can be these days, its refreshing
to find a real artist like Jim Boggia.

review by Sierra Hurtt-Akselrod

Figgle review: Fidelity is the Enemy

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All Music Guide: All Music Guide Biography

No Comments 31 December 1969

Jim Boggia

Genres: Rock
Styles: Pop Underground, Adult Alternative Pop/Rock
Tones: Energetic, Reflective, Passionate, Bittersweet, Playful, Amiable/Good-Natured, Sophisticated, Earnest

AMG Biography:

Jim Boggia first started learning to play the guitar when he was only five years old. Performing live or in a studio in Philadelphia, PA, Boggia performed his better talent alongside names such as Juliana Hatfield, Jill Sobule, or Amanda Marshall before deciding to make it on his own. Along with his superior guitar handling and a melodious and distinguished voice, Boggia ultimately follows the best of songwriting inspiring tradition. Influenced by pure pop legends like the Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, or Brian Wilson, Boggia entirely focuses on the path and ways to bring up the best features within his remarkable song handling and orchestrations. Following the decision to make it on his own, Boggia then concentrated on recording his first disc. Fidelity Is the Enemy, his first full-length album, hit record stores in 2001, getting considerable acclaim not only from the media, but also from a growing multitude of fans. ? M. J?lio Castro

Similar Artists: Jon Brion, Matthew Sweet, The Grays, Jason Falkner, Brendan Benson, Bill Lloyd, Michael Penn, Jellyfish, The Greenberry Woods

Roots and Influences: The Beach Boys

Worked With: Wood, Jennifer Knapp, Tony McAnany, Nick Moroch, Andy Kravitz, Roy Hendrickson, Bashiri Johnson, Juliana Hatfield, Bernadette Peters

Discography:

2001 Fidelity Is the Enemy (Orchard)

Appeared On:

Juliana Hatfield “Beautiful Creature” (2000): Guitar, Vocals (bckgr)
Jennifer Knapp “Way I Am” (2001): Vocals (bckgr)
Bernadette Peters “I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight” (1996): Guitar (Acoustic)
Wood “Songs from Stamford Hill” (1999): Harmonium, Vocals (bckgr)


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