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The Box - All the Time, All the Time, All the Time CD (album) cover

ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME

The Box

 

Crossover Prog

4.17 | 13 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Peter
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars The 1985 sophomore album from Quebec's The Box, like its predecessor, is a sparkling slice of engaging, intelligent 80s pop. This time around, Jean Marc and the boys have replaced the debut's drum machine with a real drummer, and the group's sound is thus more organic and "warm." Other than that change, ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME, ALL THE TIME is a perfect counterpart to the first album; the band used the same producer (Marc Durand) and the same evocative cover artist in Richard Hetu.

Once more, the songwriting is excellent, and a convincing cut or two above that of many of the Box's better-known 80s contemporaries. Keyboards and guitar dominate the overall sound, but the bass is also quite prominent, and combines with accomplished drumming for a rock- solid, danceable foundation. Jean Marc's vocals (sung in English, with a pleasing accent) are very likable -- he comes across as a regular guy; someone you'd like to have a beer and chat with. The lyrics are thoughtful, tight and often nostalgic, as they deal with the perennial themes of bygone romance, childhood wonder, and the seemingly unending tedium of schooldays which are yet missed. Every one of the eight songs is a keeper, but some are particularly good: my favourites include the haunting, atmospheric opener "Remnants," the wistful "And Say Goodbye," and the catchy "My Dreams of You" with its sing-along refrain. The absolute standout track, though, is also the longest at 5:53, and perhaps the "proggiest" piece here: "L'Affaire Dumoutier" recounts the story of a brutal murder, and the subsequent trial verdict of innocence by reason of insanity. The infectious music and a lovely lead break are neatly juxtaposed with the grisly subject matter; the result is a disquietingly beautiful, powerful song that you'll want to revisit many times.

The Box's ALL THE TIME (x 3) is a fine album that should easily appeal to fans of better-quality 80s pop, and well worth seeking out. I've been enjoying it for twenty-five years now -- you might say I listen to it ALL THE TIME. 3.49 stars.

Peter | 3/5 |

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