Every Page You Turn

BY Vish KhannaPublished Dec 1, 2004

The fine folks at Maple seem determined to find themselves another Sam Roberts and they’ve come a bit closer with Boy. Stephen Kozmeniuk may lack the beard but he’s got the songwriting chops and rock‘n’roll swagger to go toe-for-toe with Roberts and his ilk. On his second full-length, he leads a classic rockin’ ensemble through some soaring, anthemic music that is brimming to overflow. Packing "Same Old Song” and "You Gave It All” with multiple guitars, keyboards, strings, and other ambient sounds is the ideal foundation for Kozmeniuk’s dreamy yet bombastic vocals. They will also fuck with a listener’s temporal understanding of music. Most of these songs will give music fans an uneasy sense of déjà vu, as virtually all of them have some obvious lineage to the Brit-pop-rock of the late ’60s and ’70s. The instrumental "The New Number 2” could be an outtake from Dark Side of the Moon, and references to the sonic exploration of the Beatles abound throughout the rest of the album. The country honk of the Stones suits Boy fine on "Black Cat” and "Diamonds,” which are catchy as hell despite their token inclusion here. Kozmeniuk has an obvious talent for writing grandiose pop songs but too often he comes off as a johnny-come-lately, aping other people’s styles. Whether it is the Brit-rock royalty of yesteryear or the populism and vague social commentary of someone like Roberts (i.e. "People Come On,” "The Shells”), Boy are excellent emulators but are surely capable of much more than this.

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