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Starcastle - Starcastle CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.18 | 173 ratings

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2 stars There's nothing wrong with Starcastle that a little originality would not have cured...It's not that the music is that bad, it's just...not good. All kidding aside (...), this "poor mans' Yes" is not nearly as bad as some claim. I even liked Elliptical Seasons, much of Forces, and the second half of Sunfield (which includes - hold on to your hats - a section in 9/8!). The music is super-derivative, with the band "mimicking" Yes' various sounds: Wakeman's keyboards, Squire's bass, Howe's guitars (less successfully), and the groups' "trademark" vocal harmonies. Starcastle are actually reasonably good, disciplined musicians, and they capture one of the most classic Yes "sounds" - Squire's deep bass against the higher notes of Wakeman's keyboards and/or Howe's guitars - pretty well. As well, the vocals, though painfully obvious "clones" of Yes, are actually not bad (though they have far too many "dit-dit" sections). The lyrics are perhaps less successful in their attempts to "capture" Yes: although they are filled with colors, seasons, and space references (the word "sun" is used quite a lot), they simply can't match the unique "other-worldly" pseudo-gravitas quality of many of Anderson's lyrics. (Whereas it was fun to take lots of LSD and try to figure out what the heck Anderson was talking about, reading Starcastle lyrics on LSD might send one on a "bad trip"...) One odd thing is that all the songs end with abrupt stops: apparently, the band never learned how to "fade" - and some of the songs might actually have benefitted from it. / Although Yes purists (and many others) consider Starcastle a joke, they are not as painful to listen to as, say, Ayreon or other super-bombastic, pompous, pretentious bands: although Starcastle "wears its influence on its sleeve," at least they have some respect for that influence, and have some fun with their music.
maani | 2/5 |


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