Music Blogger Andrea Guy's "Buddha" Review

Artist: Paula Boggs
Album: A Buddha State Of Mind
Review by Andrea Guy

When you aspire to be a musician, many people may tell you not to quit your day job. Paula Boggs’ day job is being the Executive Vice President and General Counsel for Starbucks, but that didn’t stop her from releasing A Buddha State Of Mind.

So what does an executive of a Fortune 500 company sound like? Pretty darn good.

Paula Boggs delivers an album that has a late 60s vibe, but is really hard to categorize. It is a little rock, a little bluesy, a little folksy and a whole lot more. The title track opens the album. At first you are expecting something spiritual, when in fact the song is more an observation with a touch of humor as illustrated by the lyrics “Mayor Bloomberg loves Shakira’s hips. I love white wine. I pause to take a tiny sip.”

A Buddha State Of Mind is made up of 10 original compositions and two covers. The two cover songs are pretty ambitious. Paula chooses to cover Led Zeppelin’s “Rock And Roll,” and she more than does justice to it. The guitars are wonderfully bluesy and cleaner than on the original.

The other song she covers is Joni Mitchell’s “Blue.” These two covers really show Paula’s talent as a singer and performer. She shows listeners that she is capable of rocking out as well as handling the softer side with ease.

It is not the covers that grab your attention on this record, though they are fantastic, it is the original compositions. Paula Boggs really has a knack for songwriting, and she has a voice that really grabs your attention. The combination is perfection.

One of the standout tracks on A Buddha State Of Mind is “Miss Ruby Kirby Blues.” This bluesy track has the sound of Allen Toussaint with a touch of Elvis Costello. The guitar is slow and easy, which is just the same way Paula’s vocals flow. The lyrics tell the story of Miss Ruby, a gal from Houston, Texas.

“Someone Else” is probably one of the most heart-wrenching tracks of lost love that you’ll ever hear. When she sings “You love someone else. I just found out the other day,” your heart will break. Her plaintive vocal tears at your heart, making you want to seek out the person that has caused the pain in her voice and give him a good swift kick.

Paula rocks it with “A Finer Thread.” This song makes you feel like you are in a club. The guitars sound wild and free, adding to that club vibe. This song will have you longing to see Paula perform live.

The album ends with a song called “Original Sin.” The song isn’t what you’d think it is about. “Like him, music heeds the willing and heals the world’s disease.” She’s referring to Jesus in this line. It is an interesting comparison and definitely a lyric that is food for thought and much debate. It leaves you wanting more, making it the perfect song to close out the album.

A Buddha State Of Mind is what happens when everything seems to come together—good songwriting, great musicianship, and superb vocals. This album has all of those things.

Review by Andrea Guy
Rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

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