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Four Letter Word

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Album Review

Hearing the jazz of "Minds Made Up," it is hard to picture Charlie Farren as the hard rocking lead singer of the Joe Perry Project, and his own band, Farrenheit. One of the most prolific members of the Boston music community, Farren continues the work initiated on Deja Blue in 1999 and continued throughout 2002's World Gone Wild. Perhaps appearing on the band Boston's Corporate America disc (also from 2002) was enough hard rock for Farren in this turn of the century as he concentrates on folk/pop and explores lyrical imagery on this release. Just looking at the package one realizes that Four Letter Word is a double entendre, not rap music reaching the lowest common denominator. This is upscale music that makes you think while it entertains. There's a remake of the single, "Sally's Got a Poker Face," which Farren issued in the '80s when his band, the Enemy, was one of the big regional attractions in New England. It's amazing hearing that fiery tune performed solely by its creator, and he sounds like a full band doing the composition "unplugged." The inclusion of friend and journeyman guitarist Jon Butcher on "Copy Love," as well as former drummer Bob Sutton on one of the album's best tracks, "Poor Old Romeo," are nice touches, the musicians contributing without getting in the way. "Poor Old Romeo" is more than just the album's outstanding moment, it's a potential hit if given the right exposure. Farren's voice has amazing staying power, it just keeps getting better with time, and it has always been an amazing instrument. Bob Erik's slide guitar on "Full Circle" embellishes more double entendres: "You know I took a revolution/But I've come back around." Great mind trick, because hearing the word makes one think of John Lennon's idea of revolution, political revolt rather than a turning point, and maybe Farren means both. The ten songs only take up 38 minutes, so it plays like a traditional album, compact and precise. As major record companies continue to make the faux pas of looking here and there for the next big thing, consistently solid music like this finds its way to the marketplace from the sheer determination of its creator. This is what the major labels should be out there looking for, music with staying power generated without the assistance of "corporate America." Charlie Farren continues to impress with his unique vision and accurate presentation.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Charlie Farren was born in Whidden Hospital in Everett, MA, on August 27, 1953, to an Irish family. His father was a native of Belfast and came to the U.S. as a child of nine in 1927 via Ellis Island in New York City. Farren told the All Media Guide: "Everyone in my family would sing in full voice without hesitation. I later was surprised to learn that people were generally shy to sing out. My dad had a Sears Silvertone guitar that I still share with my three sisters...he was the first one to inspire...
Full Bio
Four Letter Word, Charlie Farren
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