Music Review from Cleveland-Based Music Critic Matheson Kamin, 5 of 5 Stars!!

Artist: Paula Boggs
Album: A Buddha State of Mind
Review by Matheson Kamin

While Paula Boggs’ day job has her dealing with the day-to-day business matters as executive Vice President for Starbucks, her 2010 CD A Buddha State of Mind shows that she has other talents that she can tap into. That 2010 album shows off her abilities as a folk-rock musician and singer.

The CD starts off with the title track “A Buddha State of Mind”, which features lyrics that focus on reflection. At times, Boggs speaks of the Buddha and his peaceful outlook, while at other times, the lyrics reflect on the current situation in the world. The lyrics of the song make you think, just as Boggs is doing as she focuses on the statue of the Buddha.

With “Peel the Charade,” Boggs takes a more gentle approach to the music, creating a very folk-like track. The gentle feel to the music goes well with lyrics about the modern-day world. The lyrics speak of the world today and create a feeling that brings to mind troubadours and songwriters back in the nineteen sixties who had a lot to say of their current-day situation. “Peel the Charade” is one track that puts Paula Boggs in the same category as those earlier writers, making today’s audience reflect on these times the way earlier poets made their audiences think about their times.

“Look Straight Ahead” is perhaps the track with the strongest message. The folk-rock song focuses on the people in our society that feel so out of place because of being different. These feelings make them turn inside themselves for solitude where no one can bother them. Though we see people like this every day, we choose to turn away instead of lending support.

It is on the song “Someone Else” that we get to experience some of the pain of life through the lyrics of Paula Boggs. The Lyrics on “Someone Else” tells of being left behind in a relationship that has come to an end, though the narrator only just found out. The listener can almost feel the pain in Paula’s words as she sings.

Paula Boggs brings a little sadness to her album once again with the song “Toll the Bell”. The song about death feels a lot like a prayer as Boggs sings about those left behind after a life comes to an end. The simple guitar part and the string arrangement add just the right amount of sadness to the track.

With the song “Traces of You,” you feel like you are listening to a letter being composed to someone who has left a lasting impression. The images conjured up by the lyrics make you feel warm as you listen to the poetry set to music. The song features a kind of duet with Boggs playing guitar and John Stiemert on piano. Together, the duo of Boggs and Stiemert create the backbone of the song.

A Buddha State of Mind comes to an end with the song “Original Sin”. The folk-rock song is one of the strongest tracks and gives the release a strong ending.

Each of the twelve tracks that make up A Buddha State of Mind from Paula Boggs shows that not all of her talents lie in the boardroom at Starbucks. This CD shows off the talent of the inner musicians that lies inside just waiting to let loose when the day comes to an end. Give Paula Boggs a chance and she’ll keep you entertained from the first note of the CD right to the very end.

Review by Matheson Kamin
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)

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