Smiths Complete - Available at Rhino.coma-ha "Hunting High & Low" and "Scoundrel Days" Deluxe Editions Rhino Handmade raids the vault!

Monday, January 30, 2006

"pull up your socks, you’re the boy in the box / what did the rebel say?"

Oh, Corey Hart. You’re trying so hard to say something meaningful and deep here, but we’ll be damned if we know what you’re on about. Is it about James Dean, as you claimed in many an interview? Or is it just a bunch of random rhymes that sounded good at the time? ”the wolf cried ‘fox’ to the boy in the box…” Really? You’re gonna go with that one? Y’sure, hun? Okay.

A graduate of the Simon Le Bon School of Lyrics, Corey Hart began his questionably poetic career with the equally bewildering “Sunglasses at Night”. See, he wears ‘em in the dark so he can “weave and breathe your storyline”. Or something. While lyrically lacking, Hart could definitely whip up a hook, evidenced by “Sunglasses”, and his second album’s smash single “Never Surrender” (which kinda takes an Elmer Fudd sheen with his delivery, “nevah suwwendahhhhh!”).

Oh, Canada, so much to answer for...

After “Never Surrender” hit #3, the album’s title track, “Boy In The Box”, was up next, a dancey time capsule that sums up 1985 pretty neatly; obtuse lyrics, fake, compressed drums with a snare that sounds like someone spanking a thawed turkey with a ping pong paddle, and that annoying little orchestral sting that was in every third song released that year. The 12” version takes it to even more ludicrous levels. But ya know what?

I still like it. When the "one, two / you can't get enough" of the chorus hits, I'm right there.

”can you see me from outside? / can you hear me from outside?” Uh, no dude, you’re IN A BOX.

"Boy In The Box" is out of print, but Amazon has an import and used copies for sale.

”Boy In The Box” peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #19 on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart.
posted by John, 12:40 PM