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Starfire - 2013 The Way I Am




ARTIST: Starfire
ALBUM: The Way I Am
LABEL: Dynasty Records
SERIAL: -
YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:

LINEUP: Dairenn Lombard - vocals, guitar, keyboards * Greg Pajer - guitar * Andrew James - bass * Blake Paulson - drums * Neara Russell - keyboards

TRACK LISTING: 01 Circle Of Misery * 02 Temptation * 03 Rock Your World * 04 Cat Walk * 05 Lip Service * 06 Did You Know * 07 The Angel * 08 Pass Away * 09 It's You * 10 The Way I Am

RATING:

WEBLINKS: www.starfiremusic.com


Background
A new name to me (and many of you too no doubt) is Los Angeles outfit Starfire. Formed around band leader Dairenn Lombard, it was described on one website as 'super melodic AOR'. That description was bound to get me interested, but upon listening, it's nothing of the sort! The band have been around for a few years, and apparently this latest 'The Way I Am' is their third effort. Musically, Starfire and Lombard are a pretty tight unit, however the problem for me is three fold: the vocals kinda suck, the songs aren't very interesting, and the production isn't well balanced.


The Songs
'Circle Of Misery' with its opening piano and synth makes for an interesting entrance, but that's where it ends. What has Lombard done to his vocals? Sounds like it's been put through an effects processor locked on some gate setting. 'Temptation' was as interesting as a church tv show on Sunday morning. For something different, we get some cowpoke guitar and banjo work for the southern sounding 'Rock Your World', but if you want to hear it done properly, go and listen to all the southern rock bands that have been reviewed here recently. Lombard gets to demonstrate his chops on 'Cat Walk', admittedly very good, but the video would suggest he's the only bloke in the band. Hey what about the other members? Finally, we've got a song that hits the mark. 'Lip Service' rocks and growls admirably. Yay. 'Did You Know' could appeal as a hard rock/prog crossover, whereas 'The Angel' gallops along with frilly abandon, but the chorus is appalling. 'Pass Away' features some hyped-up guitar work, and has a heavy back-end akin to a power trio. Unlike the simply awful 'It's You' which is.. actually I don't know what it is. Hard rock polka? Was that a keyboard solo or a kazoo gone wrong? 'The Way I Am' has some good parts, but to be honest, I'm glad to have reached the end of this album.


In Summary
I mean it when I say the production isn't well balanced, especially the vocals. Who mixed this thing? The introduction of piano on some songs is too loud in places, and the arrangements far too predictable. As for the guy who said this is super melodic AOR, if I ever meet him, I'll be sure to give him a massive beat-down! Ultimately, don't bother with this rubbish.


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Comments

#1 | george_the_jack on October 13 2013 12:53:28
Hahaha That guy you mention in the end, has to be the one to get kicked in the arse George...

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