Shooting Star – Circles

September 3rd, 2006
by Celtic Bob

Shooting Star
Circles

Frontiers Records/Zink Music
Released 2006
Rating: 2.5/5

Shooting Star took off in 1980 when their self-titled debut album was released. A bunch of albums followed, as well as various tours across the USA, but the band were put to rest in 1986. The Shooting Star songs weren’t forgotten because of that; they were played on radio and fans kept on asking for their albums that were sold out in stores. When the guys discovered that there was a market again for Shooting Star they reunited and in 1989 released the long awaited album THE BEST OF SHOOTING STAR, which was the first album avaliable on disc and that featured a new song by founding member Van McLain called “Touch Me Tonight”. The album became a smash hit and the decision to continue to release albums wasn’t hard to make.

The band landed a deal with another label and Shooting Star was reunited with a new line up. But the band saw an ending when the big explosion of garage, punk and glam/sleaze rock’n’roll came during the 90’s and the need for classic rock wasn’t big. Therefore, the band once again was put to rest.

McLain met up with his old friend and producer/engineer Kevin Bearmish in 1999 and those two ended up planning the release of Shooting Star’s next album called LEAP OF FAITH. The guys regained their old energy and started to tour once again. In 2004 Steve Thomas joined forces with the band and they landed a deal with Frontiers Records. Before they released this new album, CIRCLES, it had been 6 years since the world heard from Shooting Star. On this album they have a new lead singer, Kevin Chalfant (The Storm, Two Fires).

Just as always, Shooting Star’s music is best described as classic US arena rock. Today they still sound a lot like they did back in the 70’s/80’s, but with an updated soundpicture and a sharper production. Think of Journey and how they sounded back then, and you’ll know what I mean. The band has used a really irritating violin, maybe to spice up the music, I don’t know. They fail with that attempt big time. Kevin Chalfant does a brilliant effort and takes the lyrics one step further. The production done by Van McLain is OK, but as mentioned earlier they could have narrowed down or cut out the violin; it only gets on my nerves.

All the material is standard and OK, but nothing else. They have included 2 up-tempo and 2 straight ballads which they could have excluded, since they only drag down the rating. The best moments on the album are the classic rock/melodic rock songs like “Trouble In Paradise”, “Borrowed Time”, “Everybody’s Crazy”, and “I’m A Survivor”. CIRCLES has some good songs but doesn’t last all the way, and the biggest thrill here is the voice of Kevin Chalfant.

Van McLain – guitar, vocals
Dennis Laffoon – keyboards
Steve Thomas  – drums
Ron Verlin – bass
Shane Michaels – violin
Kevin Chalfant – lead vocals

More info about the band
www.shootingstarmaniac.com

Label
www.frontiers.it
www.zinkmusic.com

Tracklist
Runaway
Without Love
Troble In Paradise
George’s Song
Borrowed Time
Everybody’s Crazy
Tamptation
I’m A Survivor
We’re Not Alone
What Love Is

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