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Articles Home » 2000 Articles » Shooting Star - 2000 Leap Of Faith
Shooting Star - 2000 Leap Of Faith

ARTIST: Shooting Star
ALBUM: Leap Of Faith
LABEL: V&R Records
SERIAL: 0224-2
YEAR: 2000


LINEUP: Keith Mitchell - vocals * Van McLain - guitars, vocals * Dennis Laffoon - keyboards * Ron Verlin - bass * Rod Lincoln - drums

Guest: Christian Howes - violin

TRACK LISTING: 01 I Just Wanna Rock * 02 I Need Your Touch * 03 If You Want It * 04 Leap Of Faith * 05 She Drives Me Crazy * 06 Face To Face * 07 Hungry Eyes * 08 Love Is A Shield * 09 Promises * 10 Call It Love * 11 Find A Way * 12 Higher Power

WEBLINKS: www.myspace.com/shootingstarband

I am a happy chap to say the least. The welcome return of Shooting Star, one of my favourite bands. A studio album, the first for a very long time, since 1991's 'It's Not Over' in fact. Goodness, a lot of water has flowed under their bridge since then. Nirvana have come and gone, so have Oasis. But these guys keep it coming! As you can see, the basis of a stable lineup is still intact, with Christian Howes filling the violin slot left vacant by Charles Waltz many moons ago. Thankfully, the sound is as rich and compelling as it was back in those heady days when Gary West was fronting them. Though Keith Mitchell's singing style is more harder rockin', the band don't lose anything in comparison. It's good hearing songs like these again, like a long lost friend. These twelve efforts are a mix, with four of them being co-writes between Van McLain and Gary West. So these must go back some way, while most of the others are McLain efforts. Production was handled by Kevin Beamish, who must have felt like he was in a timewarp putting this album together!

The Songs
Van's grunty guitar gets us underway with the very high octane 'I Just Wanna Rock', a great concert anthem for sure. The violins make a reappearance on 'If You Want It' and complement the stabbing piano lines put forward by Dennis Laffoon. The title track 'Leap Of Faith' is a laid back new country flavoured ballad, which could very well find it's way to AC format radio, as would the other ballad 'Call It Love', though I'd say it wouldn't be a true representation of the overall album, which severely rocks. 'She Drives Me Crazy' is a big sounding rocker with a fat chorus to boot and searing guitar breaks, as does 'Find A Way'. 'Face To Face' is a return to Kansas like progressive elements, with time changes galore and keyboard playing Steve Walsh would be happy with. Some other nice efforts include the AOR induced 'Higher Power', 'Love Is A Shield' and 'Promises'. The album has a definite eighties feel, but has it's base right in the here and now with the modern production etc.

In Summary
Those qualities which made them stand out from the rest of the pack are still evident to this day, and more importantly, are shown on this album. Van's guitar is still as great and tasty as always, while Rod Lincoln's drumming is still very much a cornerstone for Shooting Star's sound. 'Leap Of Faith' sort of sits between the 'It's Not Over' album crossed with their mid eighties stuff a la 'Three Wishes' or 'Burning'. Fans of quality melodic rock/AOR should seek this out immediately. A great return for one of AOR's most important bands in the year 2000. Welcome back Shooting Star!!

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#1 | jeffrey343 on April 01 2008 17:23:48
This is a rather spectacular CD. I just discovered Shooting Star a little over a year ago. While I do like the rest of their CDs, this one is definitely my favorite. Lots of great tunes, no weak ones. My version has an additional tune - 'Let's Roll' - as the first track - it is a 9/11 tune about Flight 93. The rest of the track listing is slightly different too. 'I Just Wanna Rock' is hilarious with all the references to other classic songs.
#2 | gdazegod on September 11 2011 06:29:54
I think there were 2 releases of this CD, the first one in 2000, the other in 2001. I have the original CD of this.
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