Misadventures In Stereo, the third album by widely lauded singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Jim Boggia, is unmistakably the work of a true believer and pop craftsman who’s closely acquainted with music’s capacity for transcendent uplift. His songs get the balance right between devastating beauty and sadness, and the big fat joke that is life. Born blind in one eye and with limited vision in the other, Boggia grew up an only child with an acutely developed ear for music. His early fascination for such iconoclastic pop classics as the Kinks’ Village Green Preservation Society, Nilsson Sings Newman and Stevie Wonder’s Innervisons helped to inform an aesthetic sensibility that would push him to create album-length listening “experiences” on his own releases.
Boggia has gained impressive career momentum in a short amount of time. Blackberry selected one of his tracks for an ad campaign and his songs have also been featured on MTV’s Real World and ABC-TV’s Men In Trees. He’s developed a loyal grass-roots fan base for his dynamic, improvisational live shows. His work has been embraced by numerous fellow artists and kindred spirits, many of who have lent their talents to Boggia’s albums. His sophomore release, Safe In Sound (2005, bluhammock music), featured key contributions from such notable admirers as Aimee Mann, Jill Sobule, MC5 guitar hero Wayne Kramer, Attractions drummer Pete Thomas and legendary ’70s cult-pop icon Emitt Rhodes.
Boggia’s first two releases, 2002’s Fidelity Is the Enemy and 2005’s Safe In Sound, established him as a critical favorite. Harp magazine described his songs as “captivating,” adding that he “delivers the sort of intelligent, melodic pop music that ought to be a staple of radio playlists.” Paste called Boggia a “first-rate audio architect” and praised his use of “lush instrumental flourishes, intriguing sound bites and naturalistic found sounds.” The Washington Post made note of his “soulful voice, experimental instrumentation and an encyclopedic knowledge of pop music.”
The qualities that have endeared Boggia to fans, critics and his fellow musicians are abundant throughout Misadventures In Stereo (which, appropriately, was mastered at London’s fabled Abbey Road studios where the Beatles recorded virtually all of their ’60s classics). His knack for merging melodic bliss and bittersweet, richly detailed lyrical substance is prominent on such tracks as the ironically jaunty-sounding “Johnnie’s Going Down,” the pensive “No Way Out” and the dreamily melancholy “So.” Another standout is the baroque-pop underdog anthem “Chalk One Up for Albert’s Side,” which Boggia co-wrote with Tony Asher, legendary lyricist of the Beach Boys’ landmark Pet Sounds. Particularly affecting is the haunting album-closer “Three Weeks Shy,” about a soldier killed three weeks before completing his tour of duty.