Boy George has stayed active in the last decade, having released a house album, an acoustic LP and the theatrical musical Taboo. However, has not released a full album of original material since the 1995 record Cheapness and Beauty. He’s changing that on March 25th with the release of This Is What I Do.
“I wanted to make a baggy album, not overproduced and I think I have achieved it,” George said in a statement. “I was listening to things like ‘Beast of Burden’ by the Stones, and I had my head most definitely in the Seventies. I was also writing from a happy place. This time, no ex-lovers to get revenge on.”
He said that the This Is What I Do track “Bigger Than War” sums up the tone of the record. He played the track on the U.K.’s Paul O’Grady Show in December. Though he has yet to put out a video for that song, George has released videos for This Is What I Do’s “King of Everything” and “My God.” The former has less in common with the hits that made him an Eighties superstar with Culture Club and more to do with the big, epic pop-rock of artists like Elton John, offset by George’s husky vocals. “My God” similarly presents George’s opinions on evangelism with the kind of flashy aplomb he’s known for.
The new full-length includes collaborations with producer Youth – who is a member of the post-punk group Killing Joke and Paul McCartney‘s group the Fireman – and DJ Yoda and Kitty Durham, among others. George wrote the album with his longtime writing partners John Themis, Kevan Frost and Richie Stevens.
George reunited with Culture Club in 2012, though it’s unclear what the status of that group is now. In 2002, George told Rolling Stone that he was trying to write songs that were more direct. “Since I did [the 1995 solo album] Cheapness and Beauty, my aim was to become much more direct in my writing,” he said at the time. “When I wrote [the autobiography] Take It Like a Man, the album was the record of the book. The early Culture Club songs were much more ambiguous. I’m a huge Joni Mitchell fan – that’s what I aspire to as a writer. That’s the type of person who inspires me to write. Except that I name names.”
George intends to take a nine-piece band with him on a North American tour later this year. Dates have yet to be announced.