BOULEVARD – What’s Up (re-release)
A Gothenburg, Sweden melodic hard rock group who tried to bring their music to the masses at a time in the late 80’s where heavier or image-oriented acts seemed to gain the lion’s share of fanfare and record sales. Much of this debut album evokes a feel that crosses early Europe with The Scorpions, as vocalist Roy El Hoshy seems very awkward with some of the proper English enunciation on tracks like “Fallen Angel” and “Surrender”, although the searing lead work from Lennart Widegren and Dick Bortner helps Boulevard save face musically.
Sometimes the rhythm sound has that early Hurricane meets Dokken feel on songs like the peppy “Heart Of A Stranger” or the swanky “Millions Of Faces”. Overall, “What’s Up” may have been lost in the cracks upon initial release, but I question whether it stands the test of time due to the sub-standard vocals. In melodic hard rock more than ever, beyond the songwriting the vocalist needs to be par excellence- and for Boulevard, it’s their weakest link.
Tread with cautious ears.