Go To Hell

Star Anna

Spark & Shine, 2013


REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Highly touted by Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready, Seattle-based musician Star Anna offers up a country-blues-rock debut with emotion and some grit.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Say what you will about contemporary women in country music, but "Mean Kind Of Love" is the polar opposite of Taylor Swift, an honest, heartfelt piece that deserves airplay. Anna is not exactly a country artist, but she deftly weaves that influence into her music as much as the blues. Her appealing rasp and the front-porch jam session stomp of "For Anyone" and especially "Power Of My Love" (plus an Eric Corson guitar solo) defy categorization and sound great loud.

It's when the album goes pop that it loses something. "Electric Lights" is faceless and both "Go To Hell" and "Everything You Know" are ballads without much to offer. "Let Me Be" is a bluesy ballad that mostly works, thanks to a squawking guitar and vocals straight from the gut. The disc officially closes with a take on Tom Waits' "Come On Up To The House" that is in step with everything else here, adding a gospel influence and a smoky late-night bar band feel.

It would be the perfect album closer, but Anna saves that slot for an unlisted bonus track of straight-up hard rock that, frankly, should have been slotted third between the two ballads. It's proof that she and her band can rock, and even if the tune is repetitive, it shows her range.

If there's any justice on country radio, "Mean Kind Of Love" or "Power Of My Love" will get deserved airplay. Fans of country, blues or heartfelt music with attitude are advised to check out Go To Hell, even though little of the music or lyrics are as snide as the title.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2013 Benjamin Ray and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Spark & Shine, and is used for informational purposes only.