Boroff’s latest solo release is the beautiful and arresting “Grand Delusion.” Working with an impressive roster of collaborators including producer/multi-instrumentalist Alain Johannes (QOTSA, PJ Harvey, Them Crooked Vultures, Desert Sessions), drummer Jack Irons (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam) and, again, vocalist Mark Lanegan (Screaming Trees, QOTSA), Boroff once more plunges listeners into cinematic, fully realized musical worlds that resound with a brooding intensity.
Pulsating grooves, screaming guitars and flickering organ notes combine to create a series of intoxicating moodscapes that defy easy categorization while ringing with the familiar windswept feel of his desert rock beginnings. As the album title suggests, Boroff paints a portrait of a world where self-deception has reached critical mass: his targets include the hostile bark of nationalism, warmongering and addiction to greed. But in spite of troubles that challenge one’s faith in humanity, Boroff maintains an unwavering compassion for the human condition (“I just wanna dissolve myself in you”) while asserting that empathy doesn’t always come easy (“it’s hard to see love behind your mask”).
Throughout, it’s Boroff’s distinct baritone—sometimes smoky, sometimes pleading, always unmistakably cool—that anchors the proceedings, recalling the elemental wisdom of Leonard Cohen one moment, channeling the gritty passion of Waits or Nick Cave the next.
“Grand Delusion” is the inspiring work of an artist at the peak of his powers: conjuring spellbinding sonic panoramas with the help of an all-star lineup, confronting a skewed world with his own unique worldview and equally distinctive delivery, and scaling new heights—as he undoubtedly will continue to do for years to come.