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Progressive Rock CD Reviews

Shooting Star

Shooting Star

Review by Larry Toering

This AOR band from Kansas City are a relatively unknown outfit for the most part, even though they have several albums. This disc, their debut, sported a pretty popular hit with “Last Chance.” They were even better to witness live, as all the stops were pulled for their brilliant performances. I witnessed them myself on this tour, so I can recommend them for that, as well as this fine album of AOR/prog heavy cuts, with massively infectious material. They went on to go through the usual ups and downs as the rest of them, but the potential was high, that is one thing for sure. I liken them to bands as diverse as Honeymoon Suite and Saga, as they're somewhere in between the two, with a bit of that Kansas and Triumph approach, for depth and big sound factors.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 5 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
You've Got What I Need

This is a solid opener with a lot of smooth textures and bold lyrics. It just has that AOR quality that I like so much, as do the rest of the tracks on the disc.

Don't Stop Now
There is quite a bit of that Triumph feel to this, but it still contains for the most part, an originality to it all its own. Once the comparison is settled, all there is left to do is enjoy this for what Shooting Star were, and that is a fine band with great songwriting, playing and performing skills.
Higher
This is a harder edged tune with a killer chorus, complete with impressive guitar work. That’s an element they showed off, even among the lighter arrangements.
Just Friends
This is a full blown ballad, but it isn't exactly sappy, so I have never skipped it when listening to these great songs. It's not the best, but not the worst on here. It just lands somewhere in between, and is probably one of the more well-liked tunes among their fanbase
Bring It On
Now the proceedings start to take on a big groove, as this is definitely one of the heavier handed tracks/ It's fantastic to revisit time and again. You've got to love the whole Bring It On attitude when it some to rock music.
Tonight
This again, is one of the better tracks, as it has that lovely quality found throughout this release on the journey to the most well-known tune on the disc. I love this as much as anything here besides said number. They could've made ten of these and it would go unnoticed that they're the same song. Shooting Star were that good.
Rainfall
For my money, this doesn't beg for it, but it does go nicely with the rest of it, so I can see why they included it. Otherwise it's one of the less exciting cuts.
Midnight Man
This one is probably my second favorite here, as it carries things closer to that big sounding approach they achieved.
Stranger
There are some cliché factors concerning this one,  but it has a take it” rather than “leave it” effect either way. I still can't seem to shake it to this day, but it's still nowhere near as masterful as the following track.
Last Chance
Now this is simply an epic piece of music, as the violin pours on the prog factor to a one hundred percent degree. It’s all downhill from there. What a classic slice of AOR heaven this really is. If you've heard of this band, you've most likely heard this, but if you haven't, I cannot recommend it enough. This is simply brilliant, a classic cut, through and though.
Wild In The Street
This isn't a bad closer to say the least, and another one I can recommend from this act. Everything just works so well on this album. If the subsequent albums contain songs even half this good, they would still be on the money.
 
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