Review Summary: Something got me started.
Indeed, something did get me started. Never really knowing of this act's existence, i had to do a little research. Well Simply red
was an act formed from the remnants of The Frantic elevators
in the mid 1980's. Listing the past members would be pointless, as there are about 20 of them. Mick Hucknail was the only fully consistent member, or so it seems. The vocalist stuck with Simply Red from its formation until their demise in 2010. Not to say that in a depressing way, as they had early successes in the 1980's. Simply red produced two major hits during that timeframe, those being Money's too tight (To mention)
, and If you don't know me by now
. During the turn into the 90's, Simply red continued to have some successes, but would never mirror the same popularity of the earlier hits. The end of the 90's saw a downfall for Simply red, and they were dropped from their label after the album Love and the Russian winter
was commercially unsuccessful. For a good few years they remained inactive, until they reformed in the 2000's and had some new found success, until their final break-up in 2010. In a way this act had a up and down relation with success. Quite a history lesson for those unfamiliar with Simply red. Now onto the album at hand. Being honest, I did not listen to any other material by this band. This album did not have enough push to convince me to look further.
Had a fun beginning with the Something got me started
. It had a very latin soulful vibe to it, and sadly it left false hopes for a solid album. In its own strange way, Stars does have a few charms. Its a Soul album, and a contemporary one at that. A lot of the tracks feel really boring. Mick's vocals just don't convey enough to keep the listener entertained. This makes several tracks feel like something you would hear on an elevator. There are some tracks however where he does slightly shine. On Model
, he has a few good spots, and his voice works with the reggae-ish tone of that song. After that, perhaps its time to discuss the album structure itself.
This is not this best way to set up an album. To start with something energetic then go straight into tracks like Stars
and then Thrill me
kinda bores down the listener. It's kinda like getting ready to see a firework blow up, and then it just slowly fizzles out. Song placement can be very important. In the case of this album, the few energetic tracks should be saved for mid to ending areas of the album. A lot of the songs seem to work together, but it doesn't really feel natural either. Towards the end of the album it seems structured a little better than the first half however. That saves Stars
somewhat. Not to make it a great album, but an okay one.
Lyrics are another thing on here. They are pretty cheesy to be honest. Thrill me
and Your babies
nearly had me laughing. I understand Your babies
is supposed to be a serious song, but it was really difficult to take it seriously. Songs like How could I Fall
do attract enough attention to get multiple listens though. In some ways a lot of these tracks are cheesy to the point where its slightly fun to listen to. Freedom
, while somewhat repetitive, is another track that helped the album finish in a somewhat decent fashion. It has groove, and while not perfect, Freedom
Holds up. Wonderland
is a kinda somber finish. It doesn't feel like a strong finish. Another noted feature are the cheesy lyrics for Wonderland.
Rating this was somewhat difficult. If i could i would give this a 2.75. It's between average and good. Stars
has a lot of things about it that could have been better made. The structure, the lyrics, and a vocalist who seems to lack confidence on this album. In the end, there is enough to make this a slightly entertaining listen, towards the second half of the album. In a way, the fact that Stars is so cheesy kind of makes is okay. It may not be anything overly special, but it is entertaining none-the-less.
-Something got me started.
-How could I fall