US project STAR DANCER is the creative vehicle of composer and musician Robert Star, and operate out from his home base in Detroit, Michigan. “Welcome to My World” is the debut album by this venture, and is set for release on April 20th 2016.
Many people with a deep knowledge of music tends to seek out artists that can provide them with something new, music that in a minor or major way is innovative or otherwise adds some new flavors to the music they already know. But there’s no harm in exploring waters already explored by others, as long as you manage to do so with a high degree of quality. Star Dancer is precisely such a project. They do not bring anything new to the table, but have taken care to see that their stew of familiar sounds is one that holds a high quality throughout.
Hard rock is probably the word that best describes this album as a whole, but it is a rather diverse set of material that fills up this short, concise production. Clocking in at half an hour, it is an unusually brief production these days, but quantity doesn’t always equal quality, as many buyers of massive 79 minute long albums can testify to. And in this case it is quality from the get go.
The boogie thumping bass on opening cut Welcome to My World comes complete with a strong undercurrent of party rock AC/DC style, and the somewhat more elaborate second track Earth Mother Dance should bring a smile on the face of those who love and cherish The Cult as they came across back in 1990 or thereabouts. A wee bit of hair metal follows on Great Sexpectations, and that the composition named She’s In Love With Joan Jett isn’t all that far removed in core elements from the hit song of a certain pioneer lady of hard rock shouldn’t be all that surprising either. In this case we’re given a slight interlude featuring a short snippet from the very song everyone thinks about when they hear the name Joan Jett, kind of to emphasize the lyrical and musical message here.
The Weed don’t lie is the first of the songs that enters a calmer landscape here, rather unsurprisingly I guess, in a ballad-oriented manner that has a lot of Pink Floyd to it. The following High & Mighty returns us to the jubilant, vibrant hard rock that appears to be the specialty of this band, on this occasion with bombastic use of keyboards adding a more contemporary sheen to the tight and energetic hard rock explored. Annie represent another gentle moment, in this case with more of an Americana feel to it and subtle associations towards the likes of REM, while Unbelievable is a re-imagined take on EMF’s monster hit from the 90’s, with new lyrics and a subtly noise flavored synth pop goes synth rock take on it in terms of style. IntraVenus FlyTrap veers off into a 60’s garage rock meets 90’s indie rock kind of context, while concluding cut Before I Die is a return to Americana flavored waters, more uptempo than the earlier inclusion Annie, but perhaps with a few more defined countryrock touches to it in than in this previous tune it shares some characteristics with.
At the end of the day this short and concise album comes across as vibrant and energetic production. A vitamin pill of uplifting, joyful music, where the hardest songs stands out as the ones shining brightest with life, vitality and positivity. A fairly diverse taste in music will most likely be warranted to enjoy all aspects of this album, but you’ll go far with a general affection for classic hard rock in general and an affection for bands such as The Cult and AC/DC in particular.
My rating: 82/100