Airstreams & Satellites
First Appeared at The Music Box, March 2004, Volume 11, #3
Written by John Metzger
Over the course of the past decade, Garrison Starr has seen it all. She issued her first recording — a homemade cassette — shortly after graduating high school, and following just three semesters in college, she dropped out to pursue a full-time career as an artist. In 1996, she issued an EP titled Stupid Girl, which brought her to the attention of Geffen Records, but rather than shape her development, the label cut her loose after it failed to sell two misguided attempts to find her niche.
On Songs from Take Off to Landing, her third outing, the Mississipppi-born Starr seemed to find comfort within her newfound alt-country approach, a notion that was bolstered by guest appearances from Steve Earle and Mary Chapin Carpenter. Her latest effort Airstreams & Satellites, however, finds her changing directions yet again, embracing a more mainstream, singer-songwriter-oriented style, which modestly works. Her lyrics are solid; her voice is husky, twang-y, and expressive; and her melodies are pleasantly appealing. Unfortunately, the album also feels rather monotonous, and at times she sounds like a lighter version of the Indigo Girls, at other moments like a Sheryl Crow clone. Nevertheless, there are a few minor nuggets on the effort, though these come largely when she peels away the glossy sheen to unveil a roots-y underbelly, most notably on Hey Girl and Underneath the Wheel. Yet, even on these, Starr fails to distinguish herself from the rest of her peers, who have either found a more successful formula or at least beat her to it. ½
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1 Star: Pitiful
2 Stars: Listenable
3 Stars: Respectable
4 Stars: Excellent
5 Stars: Can't Live Without It!!
Copyright © 2004 The Music Box