Boy is yet another reminder that Carla Bozulich is a treasure, an unbelievably gifted poet with a commanding voice and a vivid vision of life. "Tickle your bones with my last lonely finger" she coos dastardly on "Don't Follow Me," a spooky threat on a record full of evocative lyrics and imagery bathed in light but only in the second after a shroud of darkness has been lifted from them.
In her liner notes, Bozulich speaks grimly of loss, critical illness and death before joking "So, yeah, this is my pop album." In a sense, there's a lot of truth to back up her sentiment here. Beyond the accessible song structures, which are counterbalanced by off-kilter, unfamiliar sonic experimentation, Boy is actually quite hopeful.
Bozulich is analytical without being dour; life is shitty but she finds the highlights in any forlorn story. The music is artful, often flickering like the last embers of smoldering punk rock and what its ideal openness would welcome. There is lust ("Deeper Than the Well") and pain ("Gonna Stop Killing") in the haunting words that emanate from this world-containing voice. Simply put, there are few artists with the precision and poetic fortitude of Carla Bozulich, and on Boy, she commands attention like no one else. (Constellation)