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Shmat's Reviews
For more reviews, please visit Palebear which is where all future Shmat reviews will appear (as of March 2006).

Starring Me
Perfect In The Night (CD)

I like to think that I can at least somewhat separate the wheat from the chaff with the billions of CDs that come in for review. But I nearly tossed this CD by the Jacksonville, FL band Starring Me just because it didn't have any other info with it. I mean I was that close to passing on it without even a listen.

Glad I didn't pass. The songs on Perfect In The Night are truly stellar - dreamy little vehicles that remind me of the best shoegaze-folk indie groups around. Shoestrings, Brittle Stars, Camera Obscura, The Arrogants, Lush, and even Slowdive/Mojave 3 come to mind. (Just call me The Indie Namer-Dropper, haha) Other tracks like "Stay" gather some great melodies and harmonies together like my favorite three letter bands: Ida and Low.

Truth be told, the album isn't super-polished... the drums all seem to be done by machine and there is a home recording feel to certain songs with the quality varying from track to track. But where this would be a deal-breaker for other CDs, I am almost willing to accept that on face value just because the songs are so good. Some of it is because I am a true sucker for this style of music... but I think they really did put a good deal of thought into the songs. Starring Me stars Reed Clendenen, Tara Golden and John Hashtak, who put in a two year effort into making the songs on the disc.

"Carousel" has this amazing chorus that I KNOW I must have heard somewhere but I just can't place it. I listened to it about 5 times before giving up on figuring who it reminded me of. I get that feeling with a lot of the songs. Delicious tongue-tippingly familiar indiepop with hints of dreamy shoe staring.

"Lasting My Balance" is interesting for it's switch to waltz-time right in the middle of the track. "Eyes Closed" is a bit more rocking, sounding like Seam plus That Dog. I really liked this one, though some of me wonders if it would sound even better with real drums.

Geez, I guess this will definitely teach me not to toss anything before giving it at least one listen! Simply lovely.

- review by SHORTY (10.10.05)        

Starring Me

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