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 Big Star - In Space

Big Star - In Space Big Star has not released a studio album since 1978’s Third/Sister Lovers. Everything they recorded, only three albums, are classic pop-rock unadulterated pleasure. It put them into a space reserved for only the greats in recorded music. Their legend has grown beyond iconic status into mythical and as more time passes their music gains more validity and notoriety. Surely, beyond anything they could have imagined at this point in their careers. With all of this considered the anticipation for this album was great. Personally, I love their music. Alex Chilton has constructed and played some of the best music I have ever heard with the Box Tops, Big Star, and during his solo career. So it comes as no surprise that I placed high expectations upon their new album In Space. In most cases when I do this, knowing better not to, I set myself up for disappointment, although rarely, I am very pleased and get what I expect. This was one of those occasions.

This band while different from the original Big Star lineup is still vital and fresh, even after nearly 30 years off. Chilton remains the centerpiece of attention with his signature emotive vocals and sharp guitar lines and Jody Stephens returns behind the drum kit. Half of the original members are back in the fold, so they are 50% of what they were. I would not expect a typical Big Star record, as you may find yourself let down. What I heard was a band that was tight and inspired, drawing from their eclectic roots to make one of the best rock-pop albums of the year. So how can a band be apart for so long and pull this off anyway? Well, when your good and have your craft down, its just a matter of a few practices, putting your ideas together, going back to the studio and letting nature take its course, right? Well, I tend to think it’s not that easy; however, Big Star makes it sound that way. Cream did it this year, it was a bit longer than 30 years though, and others have as well. While it is an unusual instance, it does happen and it makes it all so sweet for the band and their fans.

The closest thing to the old Big Star would be “Hung Up With Summer,” the rest of the album oozes with a rock-pop personification rarely heard these days. This proves the wherewithal of artists like Chilton and his mates. Everything that people were raving about, including yours truly, all these years was true. This is indeed “A Whole New Thing” for the listener young and old alike.
Their funky punky rockin’ Memphis infused soul bleeds through your speakers on the simmering cuts “Love Revolution” and “Do You Wanna Make It.” There is no doubt in mind that yet another generation of garage bands will be inspired again to pick up some instruments and chase the all-elusive dream. The subject matter has not changed all that much, it never does with timeless music now does it?

While they never ‘made it’ commercially Big Star certainly influenced legions of budding rock stars and this album probably will not reach great heights or have the commercial viability of current fodder that is being overplayed on your local radio station. No, this is not your everyday recording either; it’s another classic that should be cherished like all of those that came before it. We can only hope that this time they stick around to make a few more great albums just like this one.

01. Dony (2:45)
02. Lady Sweet (3:41)
03. Best Chance (3:04)
04. Turn My Back on the Sun (2:38)
05. Love Revolution (5:51)
06. February's Quiet (2:45)
07. Mine Exclusively (2:32)
08. A Whole New Thing (3:53)
09. Aria, Largo (2:31)
10 Hung Up with Summer (3:03)
11. Do You Wanna Make It (2:46)
12. Makeover (3:42)

© Keith "MuzikMan" Hannaleck
Posted By: Keith Hannaleck
Genre: Rock-Pop
Record Label: Ryko Disc

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