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Boy In the Box

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Album Review

Corey Hart quickly followed the success of his 1984 debut album, First Offense, and its blockbuster single, "Sunglasses at Night," with Boy in the Box in 1985. If First Offense used new wave synths as flair for Hart's rock-oriented mainstream pop, Boy in the Box is a thoroughly modern album, at least according to the standards of 1985. Most of the rhythms are synthesized, all the arrangements are built on keyboards, the guitars are processed so they're clean, brittle, and echoey, all adding up to an album that pretty much defines the sound of mainstream contemporary pop in 1985. Although none of the songs here have the sleek ominous undertow of "Sunglasses at Night," as an album Boy in the Box is more distinctive than First Offense, building on the vibe of "Sunglasses at Night" often to strong results. Hart spends a lot of time brooding on this album, cultivating the sullen loner vibe that "Sunglasses" captured so well; even the lively title track has a touch of emotional claustrophobia running beneath it. But it's isn't just introspection here — Hart tackles Communism on "Komrade Kiev," and the album's hit, "Never Surrender," is a soaring power ballad of empowerment, giving this album a greater musical and emotional range than his debut. If Boy in the Box still sounds tied to its time, so be it — most albums can't help but reflect the times that made them. But among mainstream new wave-influenced pop/rock albums from 1985, this is one of the more intriguing ones.

Customer Reviews

F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C A-L-B-U-M!!!!!

If you grew up in 1985 or so, this is sure to be one in your collection! Excellent sound! Great lyrics! What else is there to say but it is very unfortunate for all of us fans that Corey justs writes and produces now, and does not sing anymore.


this was a big part of the year inspirational and great writing!


Again, as I remarked on the Best Of album, he's awesome! This was the first album I ever got. I remember getting the tape for x-mas that year and I haven't stopped listening to him since. I now have the CD to as well as every other album. The man is amazing. I even have a few of his songs on my iPod right now. 'Never Surrender' all the way man!


Born: May 31, 1962 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The hit single "Sunglasses at Night" propelled Canadian pop star Corey Hart to the top of the charts and helped his debut album, 1983's First Offense, become a major hit in the United States and Canada. Born in Montreal on May 31, 1962, he traveled frequently as a child, living in the Bahamas with his father, but primarily following his mother through Mexico, Spain, and Florida, among other places. His early efforts to sign with Canadian record companies were fruitless; he then went to New York,...
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Boy In the Box, Corey Hart
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