Shooting Star's lone 90's release
Justin Gaines | Northern Virginia | 02/16/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After sitting out the last half of the 80's, Kansas City melodic rockers Shooting Star returned in 1991 with It's Not Over. This album marks the debut of Keith Mitchell on vocals, replacing founding vocalist Gary West. Vocalist shakeups tend to be very difficult for bands to get over, but Mitchell's voice definitely suits Shooting Star's brand of melodic rock.
It's Not Over reminds me quite a bit of Brian Howe-era Bad Company, Foreigner circa Unusual Heat (speaking of vocalist changes) and the Elefante-era Kansas albums. It's another good example of a long running rock band grabbing on to American radio's last burst of affection for AOR music. Lyrically, the band embraces just about every AOR cliché they can get their hands on, but It's Not Over is such a fun "80's soundtrack" sounding album that I hardly mind the relatively simple songs about being a rebel, dancing on the edge, and blaming it on the night.
As much as I enjoy this album, I have to admit that there's really nothing here to distinguish it from the rest of the very large pack of late 80's/early 90's melodic rock albums. Given the sheer volume of competing bands and the label's weak promotion attempts, it's really no surprise that It's Not Over failed to bring Shooting Star any real recognition, and would prove to be their last album for the better part of a decade.
It may not have been a hit, but It's Not Over is still well worth checking out if you enjoy AOR/melodic rock artists like Journey, Bad Company, REO Speedwagon, and Foreigner. The album is still widely available for a dollar or two, so what have you got to lose?