Produced by noted power popsters Neilson Hubbard and Brad
Jones, singer-songwriter Garrison Starr's latest CD, The
Sound of You and Me, is influenced equally by the work of Patty
Griffin, Mindy Smith, Melissa Etheridge, and Sheryl
Crow. Like the best work of each of these artists, The Sound
of You and Me features the lyrical and vocal intimacy of traditional
singer-songwriter fare against catchy power pop, blues, rock, and
folk backing. Above all, The Sound of You and Me is a collection
of three- and four-minute pop songs about disenchantment, lost love,
The high point of The Sound of You and Me comes immediately
with the opener "Pendulum." A minimalist folk-pop song that
crescendos into a string-infused rock bridge, "Pendulum"
finds Starr pining for a former lover whom she still loves. The
Sound of You and Me takes its name from the following track, "Let
Me In." A country-rock ballad, "Let Me In" features
a melody that easily gets stuck in your head. "Sing It Like a
Victim" and "Pretending" hover between Americana and
folk - both with pop sheen and heavy percussion. Here again, Starr
has written lilting melodies that stick with you even after the CD
The second half of The Sound of You and Me veers off unexpectedly
into heavier rock and power pop territory. "Beautiful in Los
Angeles" is an all-out rocker about lost love, infused with wailing
guitars, while " Kansas City, Kansas" is a wistful tale
of disenchantment set to bluesy guitar riffs and a driving drum beat
that kicks into a power pop chorus. Then, just as quickly, the folk
influences return with "Black and White," a tender guitar
folk song about addiction. "Cigarettes and Spearmint" is
another highlight - a haunting, minimalist folk-pop ballad set to
acoustic guitar, strings, and piano flourishes. "No Man's Land"
finds Starr taking another musical detour into rock territory, only
to return again to twangy folk-pop with the Lucinda Williams-esque
"We Were Just Boys and Girls."
Taken individually, the songs on The Sound of You and Me provide
a delightful listening experience. The album as a whole, however,
is uneven, with incongruous songs placed together seemingly at random.
In fact, The Sound of You and Me has the feel of two separate
albums that have been thrown together indiscriminately. Only Starr's
pop melodies and her introspective lyrics save The Sound of You
and Me from such flaws.
- Tracy M. Rogers
2. Let Me In
3. Sing It Like a Victim
5. Big Enough
6. Beautiful in Los Angeles
7. Kansas City, KS
8. Black & White
9. Cigarettes and Spearmint
10. No Man's Land
11. We Were Just Boys and Girls
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