Les Bohem has had a varied career. He came to music in the mid-80’s with the band Gleaming Spires who had a minor cult hit with “Are You Ready For the Sex Girls.” He was also a member of the grossly underrated band Sparks, for whom he played bass. The interesting thing about Bohem is that at one point, as his music career stalled, he picked up a pen and began writing screenplays. Bohem found success writing feature films including Daylight, Dante’s Peak, The Alamo, and The Darkest Hour. He won an Emmy for writing and producing the mini-series Taken with Steven Spielberg.
All that aside, Bohem never stopped writing music. He’s collaborated with Emmylou Harris and Randy Travis, and has now dropped a double-album Moved to Duarte, a highly refined record of folk songs that are as honest as can be. The opening, scathing track “The Moral Premise” introduces Bohem to a new audience and he does not mince words as the expletives from a seasoned voice hit home. Bohem’s acoustic guitar is weighted down by his voice and the listener feels the pressure of a career that hasn’t gotten off the ground yet. “Fancy Footwork” provides good melody with a augmented feeling, that alleviates that pressure a bit. These stories of loss, regret and depressed pain long for some type of nostalgia. “When We Used to Get High” is a perfect example of this longing and Bohem utilizes his voice as another instrument to hit that point home.
With that being said, the record is long, 22 songs long ,and if you can handle the dulled edges of Bohem’s songwriting, you’re all good. There’s not a lot of sunshine and roses on this record. It’s a good album to sit in the dark, on your couch, putting the stories in your mind. But don’t expect to be in a good mood after.
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