RATINGS: A = must own B = buy it C= average D = yawn F = puke

Joe Bouchard – The Power of Music  

Rating: B

Joe is famous for being the bass player for Blue Oyster Cult back in their glory days!  He was half of the rhythm of brothers section as his bro Albert was the drummer in the band. Joe was the quirky one.  He was a guitar player at heart, so he played bass like a guitar player would play a bass.  He was a songwriter as well.  While Buck Dharma wrote the vast majority of the hits, Joe and others in the band would contribute songs to each album.  Joe’s most known compositions, or co-compositions, that are BOC songs include “Hot Rails to Hell,” “Astronomy,” “Morning Final,” “Celestial the Queen," “I am the Storm” and “Moon Crazy.”   As you can tell, he has a flair for the peculiar. He is also very song oriented, seeing each tune as a tiny masterpiece, a work of art in and of itself.  Joe brings this artistic attitude into his solo efforts as well.  Here, he is free to let whatever facet of his personality ‘out to play’ on each tune... sometimes they are all mixed into one!

The Power of Music is a fun collection of nine songs that will more than satisfy his fans.  The opening track “Walk with the Devil” is a hard rock number that would be very at home on one of the first three classic Blue Oyster Cult albums.  “Strings” sees Joe totally switch gears as this is just a fine piece of songwriting.  When he is in songwriter mode, Bouchard can’t help but have a sublime emotional undertow to his songs.  At times, he can’t help but grin and crank out some weirdness as he does in the addictive “Is He the Wolfman.”  This is a fun song that again harkens back to BOC’s early days.  “The Power of Music” is a hard hitting rock song that has some light and shade.  He has some Buck Dharma in him in the verses, but the chorus is ‘all Joe’.  Bouchard goes mellow with “Old Dusty Piano.”  Upon first listen, this is one of those songs that just floats by.  With each additional listen, one starts hearing the song within the song.  While gentle in nature, this track has tinges of the morose and the sadness creeps in, attaching itself to the listener.  Anytime an artist can sneak in meaningful human conditions into a tune that resonates with their audience it is a good thing, such is the case with “Old Dusty Piano.”  If there is any filler on the album, it is “Story of the Blues Project.”  It’s okay.  Classic Bouchard story song, with a fun Chuck Berry style solo mixed in with a rollicking rhythm.  The album’s most interesting song is “Photographic Evidence.”  This is a spooky number that borders between mellow and eerily cool.

Joe composed a very ethereal and peaceful tune in “Touring Age,” another musically interesting offering.  The album ends with a remake of the BOC classic “Career of Evil.”  The tune, as well as other BOC songs, is the theme of the latest book by J. K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame.  It is published under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith.  The book’s title is “Career of Evil.”  Cool eh?  Not as cool as this album, though!

This is Joe’s best solo effort.  He is letting his guard down more and more, not being afraid to let his inner BOC sneak into his songs, which is, after all, a very good thing.

Track Listing:
01 Walk With The Devil
02 36 Strings
03 Is He The Wolfman
04 Power Of Music
05 Old Dusty Piano
06 Story Of The Blues Project
07 Photographic Evidence
08 Touring Age
09 Career Of Evil
By Jeb “Reaper” Wright