Artist: David Starr
Album: The Head and Heart
Label: Cedaredge Music
Release Date: 04/28/2017
We don’t normally review EPs, but rules are made to be broken—that’s a founding concept of rock ‘n’ roll, BTW—and not a jury in the world would convict us in this case.
First the sound: David Starr possesses a compelling voice, something truly special, both accessible and passionate. His songs were arranged by John Oates (who had a 40-million-album success of his own with Hall and Oates), and recorded at the appropriately-named Addiction Sound studio in Nashville. That winning combination has produced rich sonic textures.
Then we have the songs themselves, five of which are originals, four of those well-crafted and creative. I’ve been singing the title track since it first played in the Elmore office. Starr’s arresting voice coupled with the complex arrangement and vivid lyrics make “Edge of the World” a keeper for anyone. The formidable booty call, “I’ve Come for You,” with the raw sexual energy Starr’s vocals generate, stands on its own, too. If this one don’t get your motor runnin’, sweetie, you better head in to the shop for a tuneup.
The CD packaging looks like a full release with photographs—by Elmore contributor Jeff Fasano—of Starr and Oates in the studio, with a copy of Oates’ new autobiography, Change of Seasons, on the table between them.
Despite the occasional lapse into predictable rhymes (“wrecking ball…bound to fall,” “price must be paid…decisions must be made”) Starr remains solid throughout this release, and the instrumentation, with steel guitar that at times sounds like a string section, is impeccable.
The artist runs a successful guitar shop in Colorado, but will take time off for a tour this spring, and, if we’re lucky, to record a full album of this quality.