Saturday, April 3, 2010

Review: Stars Go Dim "Love Gone Mad"

"Love Gone Mad" was released by Tulsa pop rockers Stars Go Dim in August 2009. They've won an impressive assortment of awards so far in their early career - their song "Get Over It" won the Billboard World Song Contest and first prize in the USA Songwriting Competition, their song "Come Around" won the CMT and Nashville Songwriters Association International's 8th Annual Listener's Choice Award - just to name a few. And they've opened for Switchfoot, John Mayer, Daughtry, Billy Joel, Elton John, and more...a truly remarkable start for such a young band.

Their full-length debut radiates with bright pop and gentle rock in equal measure. As the title implies, the album explores love as it is seen from various points of view. “Even before we had and album title, I knew I wanted to write a song called ‘Love Gone Mad’,” guitarist and principal songwriter Joey Avalos revealed, “because there’s so many things that could mean". "A precursor to the ongoing narrative, which will include additional media and culminate in a book, can be found on the band’s website. The project is a tale of two young lovers with broken and guarded hearts who learn about themselves when they find the love letters of another couple from decades earlier and try to hunt down the rest of the story."

"Love Gone Mad" certainly has its strong suits. It is consistent and cohesive. The production is slick. Most notable of all, Chris Cleveland is a genuinely amazing vocalist. His warm, sparkling vocals and instinct to make a moment in every song makes even some of the more pedestrian tracks shine. The chief disappointment is the lyrical content. The lyrics are all too wholesome, simplistic, and generally unpoetic - they make Bon Jovi look like Walt Whitman. So what we have in the end is serviceable pop rock, but I struggle to see most of these tracks making a lasting impression.

Highlights include the award-winning opening track "Get Over It, the mild country-flavored "Come Around", the blue eyed soul of "Walk On", and "Incredible", in which Cleveland turns in one of his most striking vocal performances. The band has a great deal of potential, and with some stronger hooks and more compelling material, their stars will not fade.

Fans of sweet, charming pop with a bit of an edge will be all over "Love Gone Mad". Check out Stars Go Dim if you like Switchfoot, Carolina Liar, or O.A.R.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 2, 3, 5, 10

Stars Go Dim on MySpace. Official site.

1 comment:

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