Picks and Pans Review: Walk on

updated 06/27/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/27/1994 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Boston

When the topic is rock musicians, the word "fastidious" rarely comes up. Except when you're talking about Tom Scholz, the man who is Boston. A notorious studio hermit, he agonizes for months over every nuance of his records—an aurally retentive approach that has yielded only four releases in 18 years, the last in 1986. In some ways, Walk On was worth the wait: the three opening tracks—stirring anthems as good as anything on Boston's self-titled 1976 debut—have a grandiloquence rare for rock. Unfortunately, what follows can be unforgivably indulgent. (Check out that 12-minute title medley.) With little dynamic differentiation, it's hard to tell ballads from rockers, since both build to multiple climaxes punctuated by torrential guitar solos. And Scholz's micromanaged music ultimately proves too studied. But then that's no surprise. When the record comes from Boston, you know it don't come easy. (MCA)

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