martedì 30 giugno 2009

Superstar "18 carat"

Mini LP per i Superstar, impreziosito dalle solite gemme melodiche.
La storia del gruppo qui sotto la dice lunga...(1997 Camp Fabolous)

Way back in 1992, Superstar Mark I released a well received album on Creation called, modestly, Greatest Hits Vol I. There was rave live reviews from the UK press and the promise of great things. The albums' effortless marriage of classic melodies and warm harmonies evoked the likes of Big Star, Beach Boys and Beatles at their best. Joe McAlinden’s rich, soulful and effeminate vocals added the extra spice that made the critics hair stand up on their backs. A rare commodity in these times. It’s amazing what a producer can do to a ropey voice these days but Joe really can sing. Sing in a way that will really move you. The way singers used to do, Gram Parsons, Otis Redding, Brian Wilson.

Some doubters may have traced Joe’s musical history to find out he was once a member of BMX Bandits and his band had a element of Teenage Fanclub in their sound, yet there was always something clearly special about Superstar that made them stand up on their own merit. It’s a travesty that lesser quality bands have gone on to chart success whilst Superstar drifted into obscurity.

They jumped ship from Creation to Sony and it was downhill from there. They went to America, released an album that was only available on import in the UK, hit legal problems with the label and gradually ground to a halt.

1996 and enter Superstar Mark II. Joe along with new members Jim (guitar), Alan (drums) and Quentin (drums) signed to indie label Camp Fabulous and released another mini album, 18 Carat. The album features a richer, more sensitive and mature sounding group. Still showing the same vision for sweeping melodies, layered harmonies and chiming guitars they are showing a new maturity these days and a yearning for big, soulful, sentimental ballads. All this is captured beautifully in their debut Camp Fabulous single, ‘Breathing Space’. Three minutes of pure heaven, sung by the voice of an angel. Albeit a broken hearted angel. Ace.

18 Carat’s lead song, Superstar is a real gem. A soaring, cheesy synth riff floats through the self confessional song and the vocals sound warped and emotionally crippled as the words tug at the heartstrings. The album was recorded in just 3 days.

"I’m a sucker for ballads, song that really touch you" says Joe, "I like to hear songs that are sung and played with emotion, there’s hardly anyone doing that at the moment and there’s plenty of people who want to hear it".

Joe’s voice on record sounds lost, lonely and heartbroken. Three classic ingredients. He has a voice to make the toughest man in the street crumble and yet, Joe is a big man. You wouldn’t want to mess with him yet he has a intense soul and a big, big heart that will suck you in.The emotion pours out of him so naturally. On stage, it’s even more graphic and personal. The rage and heartache pours out from his tortured facial expressions. It augers for a dramatic and gripping live experience. Not many bands could pull this off playing such quiet, slow songs that demand the audience to listen hard and embrace the whole feel of the song.

- Superstar
- The OK Corral
- Why Oh Why
- It Feels So Good To Be With You
- Bad Hair Day
- Bumnote
- Little Picture


1 commento:

  1. Very good album. There is a lot of very Scottish humour in these songs.

    Download this, love it, then go buy the albums.