A native Mississippian, Garrison Starr sets lyrics of female empowerment, romantic disillusion, and coming-of-age confusion to the buoyancy of shimmering pop. With a voice that's both breathy and gritty, yet can rise into ... more »a lilting soprano, she strips away the layers of emotional protection from her intensely personal material. Both her disarming honesty and her melodic craft keep the results from sounding self-indulgent. Highlights range from "Sing," a soaring anthem of affirmation in a world gone mad, to the Peter Pan flights of fancy on "Superhero" to the bittersweet ambivalence of "Wonderful Thing" ("I hate love," she sings). The production by Curt Schneider and Andrew Williams sparkles throughout, with the guitars seeming to send satellite signals on "Hey Girl." --Don McLeese« less
A native Mississippian, Garrison Starr sets lyrics of female empowerment, romantic disillusion, and coming-of-age confusion to the buoyancy of shimmering pop. With a voice that's both breathy and gritty, yet can rise into a lilting soprano, she strips away the layers of emotional protection from her intensely personal material. Both her disarming honesty and her melodic craft keep the results from sounding self-indulgent. Highlights range from "Sing," a soaring anthem of affirmation in a world gone mad, to the Peter Pan flights of fancy on "Superhero" to the bittersweet ambivalence of "Wonderful Thing" ("I hate love," she sings). The production by Curt Schneider and Andrew Williams sparkles throughout, with the guitars seeming to send satellite signals on "Hey Girl." --Don McLeese
"If, like me, you sometimes turn on the radio and wonder if there are any great songwriters anymore, any great vocalists anymore, or any great records anymore...
Then, you owe it to yourself to pick up Garrison Starr's "Airstreams & Satellites" on Vanguard. Garrison is the Real Deal and this CD has it all: wonderful songs with strong melodies, intelligent lyrics, tasteful arrangements, stellar vocal and instrumental performances, and crisp production.
Forget about the music industry's big annual awards shows (which are too often based on sales, popularity, or trends). THIS IS THE RECORD OF THE YEAR!
I first discovered G-Starr doing a solo acoustic set, opening for Melissa Etheridge. I picked up her last CD, "Songs from Take-off to Landing" and was quite impressed to hear that Garrison rocks! The disc was filled with incredible material, sweet, soulful, emotional singing, killer electric guitars, and powerful drums. It clearly demonstrated an emerging artist whom deserved instant stardom. Despite Garrison's young age, there was such a maturity, sensitivity, and depth to her songs that I couldn't imagine anything (even clueless radio programmers) holding her back. "Take-off" was THAT good. A career defining moment. How could she even top it?
Well guess what? She has! "Airstreams & Satellites" is even better!
G-Starr's music runs the gamut of styles: rock 'n roll, pop, Americana, country. The songs are personal and heartfelt. Often the wordplay is clever, even funny. There's an honesty to her work that is rare these days in our cynical, mass-produced, cookie-cutter society of consumers with short-attention spans.
"Airstreams & Satellites" is premium rock music for music lovers with an appreciation for GREAT songs, GREAT vocals, and GREAT instrumentation. Classic stuff. Rock of ages. The kind of record that gets listed on those "stranded on a island, which would you take?" polls.
Buy it. NOW!
"Airstreams & Satellites." Garrison Starr. Vanguard Records.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR!"
Another excellent release from G-Starr
William Merrill | San Antonio, TX United States | 02/21/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"(4 & 1/2 starrs) If there was any justice in the music biz - or if the record-buying public had any taste - this CD would be a hit. It's one of my favorite discs of 2004 so far. Ms Starr has got it all -- winning vocals that have both strength and vulnerability, solid backing musicians, really good songs, etc. Just about the entire album is good, but I especially like the songs "Wonderful Thing," "Hey Girl" and the title track. For a reference point only, Garrison's style falls roughly into the same category as that of two other equally fine singer-songwriters, Patty Griffin and Lucinda Williams. If you like their stuff, I bet you'll like this CD a lot too."
stormy3 | Austin | 05/21/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I am new to Garrison Star. I have been hearing her "Sing" on various Americana stations and she held her own at the SXSW Women of Welk showcase against the incredibly rude or stupid Coyote Ugly dancers who decided the middle of her set was the perfect time to fire up the Jukebox (memo to concert promoters--a softcore strip club is not really the best venue for a fem-friendly showcase). However, what really sold me on her were the incredible harmony vocals she turned in on Mary Chapin Carpenters Between Here and Gone. And, her album does not disappoint.
The opening track "Gasoline" is an atmosphericly driving track about the frightening leap of faith in a relationship. "Sing" is an incredible song that manages the difficult task of being upbeat and inspiring without resorting to cliches or sap. This drifts easily into the musing "Hey Girl," which turns into the blistering rock of the summers best feel good song, the childhood infectious "Superhero." This gives way to the pretty, musing desperation of "Underneath the Wheel" which finds her asking "Where is the spark that always lights the way back home." And what's not to love about a song that opens with a tongue in cheek "I hate love, I really do" before going on to observe "But it's a wonderful thing, when it's happening." One of the catchiest songs on the cd is the howling "Like a Drug." Next comes the soft and pretty "Runner Up," which is followed by the blistering and accustatory "One Side." The album closes on a high note: The beautiful and poignant "Airstreams and Satellites, followed by a few moments of silence before she kicks into a really amazing hidden track (which makes me forget how much I hate hidden tracks as they have no liner notes, you can't skip to them and they haven't been a surprise since 1999) where the protagionist offers "She says mom/he is ment for me/but she turns me on/she turns me on" before inquiring "What is wrong, to be sorry for?/What is wrong?/Can you be sure, that God doesn't live here anymore?"
This is a wonderfully understated cd, a breath of fresh air in a world where many artists seem to mistake "screaming" and "passion." Instead of a raging inferino, Starr provides a simmering bed of coals that leap up into flames in unexpected places. (For example, the hidden track, basically a song about coming out to a mother, which not only speaks of God, but has a good relationship with that mother.) She definately fits into that group of artists loosely defined as "chick music," non-robo-Jewel, Sarah McLachlin, Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter. However, she has a distinctive voice, fresh writing style and just different enough instrumentals to win over the most aggressively Toby Keith listening boyfriend."
One of my favorite CDs of the year
Ryan Houlette | 09/13/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I picked up Garrison's previous CD at a live show last year and couldn't get over how good it was. I was thus thrilled to discover that she had a new album out, and rushed out to pick this one up. It didn't disappoint (unlike the latest CDs from some of my other favorite bands). The new crop of songs here is strong, maybe slightly closer to the pop end of the spectrum than "Songs...", but there's plenty of rock in this folk-rock still. Garrison's voice is really shown off here -- I'm so happy to hear a female singer/songwriter belt it out without any breathiness, warbles, or other vocal affectations. She's one of the best out there right now, and here's to hoping that she gets the attention she deserves."