Fidelity Is the Enemy
op music. What is that you ask?
Let me tell you. It usually deals with topics like boy meets girl, boy gets girl, boy gets dumped by girl, boy wonders why he even wanted girl in first place. That’s the simple answer, in reality that little digested version only masks something much deeper and introspective. Those fabricated teens doing Broadway dance numbers only know that POP could be short for popular and only read that digested definition. They fail to look deeper.
POP can also refer to a soft drink (read: lots of energy, and lots of fizz, with a big heap of sugar poured in it.) If you like your music to be the equivialant of this definition then Jim Boggia might be your man. Sure, the crunch isn’t all there but man, it sure is sweet tasting. If you get a kick out of stuff like Jon Brion, Aimee Mann, Jellyfish, Michael Penn & Elliot Smith, you are going to be freaking ecstatic over this CD. Heartfelt acoustic ballads and smart, multi-layered bouncy pop numbers that combine soulfulness and technique not unlike fellow Philadelphia native, Todd Rundgren.
Listening to this CD it is easy and quite fun to play spot the influence. The obvious Pope John Paul, Archbishop George Ringo worship is an unapologetic psychedelic tour de force called "Peter Pan". The song which cops the sound of “Flying” by The Beatles, is a playful number using instruments like a bouncing basketball, bicycle bell, Indian drum, slinky, flute, toy piano and air organ to produce the trippy sound. Throughout the CD, Boggia sprinkles the likes of glockenspiels, sleigh bells, theremin, and Wurlitzer piano into the mix. He evokes Simon and Garfunkel on ”Winter”, where he sings both harmony parts and steals the guitar part from Homeward Bound. Boggia doesn’t even attempt to cover Brian Wilson’s “Don’t Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)” from Pet Sounds, instead he gives us a twenty second rendition of him doing the harmony part with explanation that we all should go buy that album. I would tend to agree. The bossa nova flavored number features a Todd Rundgren memorial bridge and guest star Jill Sobule (Boggia has graced her touring band on a number of occasions, as well as contributing to the likes of Juliana Hatfield, among others).
Sure, the record will have detractors. Some people will line up and scream "Blatant rip off! " And to those, I say some of the best damned albums of the past decade, sound like a "B's of Pop" train wreck, and Fidelity Is The Enemy is a stunningly gorgeous one. It is difficult to undo what came before. And if one has to redo it, might as well haul out the big guns and go straight for the gut. In other words, aim for perfection and perfection for this genre would be Brian Wilson and Lennon & McCartney.
Jim says this CD is his “love letter to pop music” and calls his music “Yesterpop”. Let's not forget Pop also means Dad and, like I say, POP is never a bad word unless you wreck Dad’s car.
Reviewed by: Tom Casetta
Reviewed on: 2003-09-01