Boy George & Culture Now

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Boy George’s latest is yet another example of an artist coming back from relative obscurity with several styles in tow. There is the obligatory reggae sound of the early 80s, some regular dance, some rap, that kind of thing.  So what is there of authenticity on This Is What I Do?

You may be surprised, but pretty much all of it is authentic and new, certainly more so than anything he did in the 80s.  This is not a Culture Club release. This Is What I Do is a seriously accomplished and considered album, one of the best examples of an artist putting out better work now than he did in his heyday. That’s a good thing considering how much the times have changed.

“Everybody knew the boy was strange”

The androgynous playfulness of the early 80s has given way to gay marriage and an openness that makes that era seem as innocent and conservative as a 1950’s sitcom, complete with Mr Clean commercials. This Is What I Do sounds like the stuff he wished he’d said in the 80s. Back then he wasn’t coming outthough to be fair, few were.

“Live Your Life” is an open song and it would have been mind-blowing back in the early 80s.  These are confessions that could have generated much debate had they been pressed back in the 80s.  It’s somewhat as if all those Elton John songs suddenly replaced “she” with “he.” Boy George has released that album with This Is What I Do.

“Time to Breathe”

This is that candid album. This is the one about his life, including a breakup tune with “It’s Easy,” check out “Love and Danger” and “Any Road” for more. Just as there are many music styles, bundled together side by side, there is quite a range of topics on This Is What I Do, including “Nice and Slow,” reggae and all, and Boy George’s cover of Yoko Ono’s “Death of Samantha.”

This Is What I Do is all about variety and it may never work as a whole. This album proves, however, that Boy George is still here and he has a great sound, varied as it is. Certainly the next album has the potential to be more of a unit and it’s one to look forward to.




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