The somewhat, ubiquitously titled, “Boy Oh Boy,” is the newest single by Stockholm’s, Major Of Roses. A Singer/Songwriter who is entirely self-produced, Major Of Roses, officially came on the scene a little under 5 years ago. He cites David Bowie, and Elvis Costello among his influences, and he allows just enough of their styles to shape his slightly left of center sound. His delivery on “Boy Oh Boy” is mildly dry, but with enough gumption to go down like a fine Chardonnay. Major sings in a focus but not uptight baritone, that some have compared to Tom Waits, sans the gravel.
“Boy Oh Boy,” was inspired by a photo of Major at 4 years old, and his apparent wonderment of how time has transformed him. He opens the track, by asking who took the picture in question, where he is seen sitting atop his toy firetruck, beaming and elated. He describes the contrast between the existential uncertainty we come to struggle with as adults, and the blissful ignorance of youth, in a simple, but poignant way. Overall, the song is a literal snapshot of innocence, footnoted by self-reflection and perhaps a pinch of nostalgia. Major delivers the song without the slightest drip of irony, and his odd sincerity eventually wins you over.
The real life, Magnus Rosell, describes Major Of Roses as being a “unique combination of pop melodies and rock grit.” He actually fuses several elements of both rock and pop and their seemingly infinite subgenres, to create something, signature. When you listen to “Boy Oh Boy,” you quickly get a sense of who Major Of Roses, in a transparency that is more endearing than boorish. You might even assume that you won’t like him, initially, only to be genuinely entertained by him, in the end. You also probably won’t bargain for “Boy Oh Boy,” getting stuck in your head, but there’s a good chance it will.
As aforementioned, Major handles all of his own production, and he is quite competent at it. Everything is layered, concisely, and his volume levels are infallible. He positions his vocal, front and center, and provides a backdrop that keeps things swinging. We don’t really hear a guitar until the final quarter of the song, but when we do we are more than ready for it, and warmly appreciative. His songwriting and compositional skills, might just be the brightest light that Major shines, as his vision is fully realized and impressively whole.
When looking at the artwork for the “Boy Oh Boy,” single, you might think it looks awfully familiar. That’s because it was inspired by The Clash’s, London Calling album cover. With the bubbly neon green and pink font, we see the image of a 4 year old, Major, atop his trusty toy truck, instead of Joe Strummer, destroying his six string. It’s a nice nod to one of the most iconic album covers in history. It’s also quite possibly a parallel to Major’s life, in a world that was still blessed with a band as incendiary as The Clash.
Boy oh boy/never let him die. Major croons on the chorus, pleading to never let the childlike spirit within him, perish. It’s a moment we all have or probably will experience, especially as we look back on the more vulnerable and unknowing versions of ourselves. Though autobiographical in scope, there is something undeniably relatable in “Boy Oh Boy.” It’s the eternal struggle to never let the core of our unbridled spirits, fade into nothing more than a photographic memory.
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