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August Everywhere
Artist: Blinker the Star
Label: Dreamworks Records
Length: 12 tracks

Samples
September  Already
Pretty Pictures

I wonder what must be going on inside the head of Jordon Zadorozny. I mean, how can he keep track of all of the diverse sounds that permeate all his songs. "September Already" lets loose with a couple of distorted power chords that quickly fades away into haunting Robin Guthrie-esque filigrees. On "Crazy Eyes," Zadorozny's vocals strain towards the stratosphere until they get all fuzzed out and indistinct, but just when the song seems a little too dreamy, handclaps and new wave-esque synths ground it all.

"Pretty Pictures" is one of those rare songs that I can never seem to get tired of, no matter how many times I hear it. The overall sound is that of a classic ultra-produced AM hit from the 70s, like one of those you see popping up on a Rhino compilation; but it's hard not to get into it, what with Zadorozny's vocal arrangements, strings, and congos. Even when the overly dramatic guitar solo comes in from out of nowhere, the song never approaches kitsch... or if it does, it simply uses it as inspiration and goes from there.

Vocally, Zadorozny is a bit of a chameleon. At times, he approaches, dare I say it, Perry Farrell-esque territory. On "Your Big Night, Sandy," his voice easily passes from being short and angular to drifting somewhere far above the bridge. On "Strange As They Say," he could easily pass for Eric Matthews. But most of the time, his vocals stay in Matthew Sweet territory, still sounding earnest and passionate, no matter how many times they're layered and slathered with effects.

The album's weak moments are few and far between: the piano-driven "On This Earth" strives to be a ballad, but never really raises my interest; the album's other somber moment, "There's Nowhere You Can Hide," fares a little better, again striking a 70's rock pose. But there's no escaping the fact that the album is pop album first and foremost, in all of its unabashed glory. The real beauty, however, is that there's actually a great deal of substance once you peel back the layers of studio sheen. Or maybe it's that all of the studio sheen still feels so natural to the songs, that rather than sounding overly produced, they just sound a little too good to be true.

Jason Morehead 03/26/2000


 

Jason Morehead is also the publisher of Opuszine, a webzine devoted to independent music and cult cinema.  All of his reviews can also be found at http://www.opuszine.com

Blinker the Star’s Dreamworks debut is a superb collection of mid-tempoed rock highlighted by various instruments from all over the world.  The band’s lead singer, Jordon Zadorozny, has risen from his humble beginnings growing up in Canada to becoming a prolific songwriter.  His songs can transform from upbeat rock tracks to soothing ballads, to a melange of tribal sounds.  Perhaps such varied sounds on the disc come from the singer’s diverse upbringing and exposure to numerous instruments and cultures.
 
The band sports a computerized distorted dance groove on “Your Big Night, Sandy” while calming things down for “On This Earth,” an encouraging song to dedicate to a friend or loved one.  “Pretty Pictures” is a work of art that conjures up a mood of floating in dreamland, while the message speaks of not taking for granted the people that are important in life.

The album’s closer, “The Star Behind the Star,” is a particularly painful reflection about longing to leave the negative aspects of the earth and escape to a better place.  The tracks’ chilling acoustic guitar and shrilling keyboards, mixed with Zadorozny’s wailing vocals leave the listener in a state of melodrama and reflection.

All in all Blinker the Star has the potential to develop into an even more mature and radio friendly band that can pick up fans along the way with their vibrant array of sounds.

Andy Argyrakis 1/8/2001


 
 
 
 

 

   
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