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COREY HART

Boy in the Box
Rating: 1
Squirm factor: 2
   This was a record that my wife bought as a pre-teen, and it carried over into our collection when she married; I'd never heard it before. It's best known for "Never Surrender," one of the more listenable hits of the 80's, featuring Corey's pleasantly smoky baritone. It is indeed a well-written song, evocative of that moment in life when you discover your principles and decide to spend your life fighting for them. Then you get a 30-year mortgage…
   Anyway, my one beef with that song can be writ large for the whole album. The production is so utterly 80's that it almost ruins whatever music might be under all those layers. Grating synth patches, whiny wah-wah guitars (or screechy leads), faux-funk rhythms - I can't take it!
   Add to the fact that Corey Hart didn't write any particular melodies aside from the hit and it's pretty unbearable. To be honest, I couldn't even force myself to listen to side 2. That would qualify it for a zero, but "Never Surrender" really is well-written.

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