I think what I’m going to try to do here is save some listeners a little time. I listened to this whole album all the way through twice, and honestly, afterwards, felt violated in some way. Getting right down to it, …And Star Power is 82 minutes of disjointed, mind-boggling clips of noise that can piss you off at times. But please don’t get me wrong, there are some great songs hidden in there. The problem is that the good ones are surrounded by all-too-avant-garde, demo-like bits of music that amount to very little.
Listen, I’m all for some experimentation, some surprises, but I can’t help but hate the better part of this album- full of its noise bytes of glass breaking and orange juice pouring and weird chants that gave me a headache and made me need a nap. I laughed a little when Foxygen used the recording of a kid saying “hold onto your butts!” but otherwise, I was left wanting something more substantial. It seemed at times that the only function of these uneven clips of music were to make the actual songs sound better by comparison. If you listened to We Are the 21st Century Ambassadors of Peace & Magic, think if every song was a far more extreme version of “Shuggie” where the parts matched up even less. There, now you have the better part of …And Star Power. For examples of this bullcrap filler sound- I would listen to songs like “Wally’s Farm” or “Can’t Contextualize my Mind.” And for the record, I loved We Are the 21st Century… and “Shuggie.” I’m just not a huge fan of seeing a certain schtick blown way out of proportion.
That being said, there are some great parts to this album if you trim the fat. My highlights are “How Can You Really”, the single that came attached with a pretty cool music video, “Coulda Been My Love”, a nice little sad song for a rainy day, and “Flowers” , a tune with just the right amount of simple weirdness to it. “Star Power III: What Are We Good For” is also nice after a few listens. See, these songs are fine, but if you listen to them along with the album in full, they kinda just blend in with the rest of the noise. But what do I know? Maybe a few more listens will make awaken something else in me. You, dear reader, may like the rest of the stuff …And Star Power has to offer, but if you are like me and believe there aren’t enough hours in the day as there is- save yourself the 82 minutes of indulgence and cut to the good stuff.
…And Star Power is expected be for sale on iTunes October 14.