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Starcastle - Fountains Of Light CD (album) cover




Symphonic Prog

3.38 | 134 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Yes, we sound like someone else

There has been some discussion in the forum in the past on the topic of plagiarism vs. derivation (or as my old friend Maani often refers to, the "filtering" of influences). Starcastle have often been accused of sounding so like Yes that their albums go well beyond simply being derivation. So what of the evidence before us?

With "Fountain's of light", there is no questioning the similarity with the music of Yes. Many of the Yes trademarks are there in abundance. The bass work of Gary Strater is pure Chris Squire, and the vocals of Terry Luttrell are carbon copies of Jon Anderson (with a splattering of Squire), both in terms of the sound and the style of delivery. The emphasis for example on the last syllable of a line is very much in keeping with tracks such as "Your move" by Yes, where Anderson sings "capTURED". Indeed, the songs are written in a very Yes like style, even if they are unquestionably Starcastle originals. That said, it can be challenging to take a specific Starcastle song, and identify a Yes song it can be accused of copying. Given that when he was a member of REO Speedwagon singer Terry Luttrell did not sound particularly like Anderson, the assumption must be made that he has deliberately tried to sound like him here.

Taking the music on its own, (and disregarding the Yes similarities is far from easy!) this is a highly enjoyable album. The opening track, "Fountains" is a 10 minute epic, a bit heavy on the vocals, and with rather weak guitar, but enjoyable nonetheless. "Dawning of the day" is the most accessible song, more like something from a solo Jon Anderson album, having a strong melody and infectious hook. The pop rock leanings continue on "Silver winds" but "True to the light" reverts to a more prog like orientation. Here, the vocals do move away from being compatible with Anderson, the track having some high melodic harmonies and striking cascading sections. The remaining tracks are largely undistinguished, even legendary producer Roy Thomas Baker can only do so much when the material is average.

With six tracks in total, the band could have taken the opportunity to develop some of the songs further, especially since the album runs for just 36 minutes. There is though a lot to enjoy here, especially on side one of the album. The best album Yes never made perhaps?

Easy Livin | 3/5 |


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