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Articles Home » 2013 Articles » Starship - 2013 Loveless Fascination
Starship - 2013 Loveless Fascination

ARTIST: Starship
ALBUM: Loveless Fascination
LABEL: Loud And Proud
YEAR: 2013


LINEUP: Mickey Thomas - vocals * John Roth - guitar, background vocals * Jeff Adams - bass, background vocals * Darrell Verdusco - drums * Stephanie Calvert - vocals * Phil Bennett - keyboards, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 It's Not The Same As Love * 02 How Do You Sleep * 03 Loveless Fascination * 04 What Did I Ever Do? * 05 Technicolour Black And White * 06 Where Did We Go Wrong? * 07 How Will I Get By? * 08 You Never Know * 09 You Deny Me * 10 Nothin' Can Keep Me From You



In recent times, the Starship plus Jefferson Starship musical enterprises have been separated by name and personnel. Great that there is a degree of separation between the two entities by some; but it's a helluva confusing for everyone else. It's on occasions like these that you would wish both bands could just leave the original legacy intact and forge ahead with new identities. Of course that wouldn't go down well on the classic rock circuit as neither band would be able to promote themselves using a new name that no one is familiar with. So, the two continue on in name, and it's up to us to know which one is which. Mickey Thomas leads Starship, while Paul Kantner leads Jefferson Starship. That's the best I can do. Seeing I was never keen on Kantner's political leanings and musical poetry, I'll stick with Mickey's version instead. The newer (more melodic rock) version of Starship is now known as Starship featuring Mickey Thomas, to further confuse the punters.

The Songs
The last 'proper' Starship album was 1989's 'Love Among The Cannibals'. There's been a flurry of activity since then, but mostly under the Jefferson Starship banner. Confused? You should be. But then again not, as this band have never really settled on standardisation in any shape or form since those hazy days of the 60's. Of note, joining Starship in 2012 was Memphis based guitarist John Roth, better known for his stints with Black Oak Arkansas, 1991 solo era Jimi Jamison, Winger and the 2010 version of Giant. He's a good fit as the replacement for Craig Chaquico. Lead off track 'It's Not the Same As Love' is a punchy affair, the album's single, and a fairly rocky event when all things are considered. 'How Do You Sleep' is also upfront in the delivery department, the choruses especially giving this song impetus and momentum. 'Loveless Fascination' is an 80's throwback, with Roth's guitarwork providing all the colour on top of Thomas' enthusiastic vocals. 'What Did I Ever Do' moves into acoustic midwest strum-along territory. The shimmering guitars are all over this one. Mickey owns the vocal for 'Technicolour Black And White', a foot stomping rocker with a series of twists and turns, though the solo section isn't very inspiring. 'Where Did We Go Wrong' never quite gets out of third gear, and insists on selling itself as a modern contemporary rocker. 'How Will I Get By' goes to the top of the class on this album. Mickey sounds timeless here, the music kinda restrained and played in a semi-ballad style. 'You Never Know' is a reasonable effort too, helped by a strong chorus with hooks and connectors on other parts of the song upselling its credentials. 'You Deny Me' keeps to a mid-tempo pace, and is one of the more melodic efforts here. There's not a lot of sting to this one, but it plays ok nonetheless. 'Nothing Can Keep Me From You' is a big vocal anthem, sweeping orchestral sound, with Mickey and Stephanie Calvert belting out the lead vocals in tandem.

In Summary
A long overdue return by a legacy band within the melodic rock industry. They've certainly aged quite well, and definitely not as overblown as their three 80's albums. Mickey Thomas is the focal point, and gotta say, he still sounds on top of his game. The material could've been given a 10 or 20% increase in the energy stakes, but considering the band are nearly 30 years out of their timezone, I'll cut them some slack. A surprising listen, with a clutch of good songs within.

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#1 | Eric on October 09 2013 02:28:18
Agree on old J. Starship verses the Thomas version. Had they used Marty Balin more frequently, it would have been a better operation. Songs with his vocals became the hits. Not liking the cover on this new one, a little too new-agey, jazz fusion I think. Still, saw it in a shop last weekend and will pick it up based on your review G.
#2 | gdazegod on October 09 2013 03:15:30
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