This Is What I Do
If we can set aside all the baggage he has been carrying around for the last two decades, it is still just about possible to recall that Boy George was once almost the perfect pop star. Mouthy, bitchy, brave, and a spectacle. It's a pity Culture Club only had a couple of half-decent pop songs in them… Some three decades (and a DJ career) on and he is back to remind us that pop stars do sing from time to time with this, his first album of original material in 18 years. Is it any good? Parts of it are. The opener King Of Everything, as well as being something of a mea culpa, is as good a Radio 2 ballad as you will hear all year. The rest of it plays around - too slowly for my liking - with reggae, country, a touch of grime and self-help lyrical bromides. The best thing about this record is the voice, its sweetness weathered and salted. George sounds like a man today; on Any Road that means weary and heartworn. It's maybe the best vocal he's ever done.