STARSHIP featuring Mickey Thomas – Loveless Fascination (full)
A couple years ago STARSHIP returned with its first new studio album in more than 20 years; “Loveless Fascination“, with the fresh 10-track collection finding frontman Mickey Thomas and his group mixing more rocking material with the band’s classic Eighties melodies which made them famous.
And this works greatly for this new Starship incarnation, rounded out these days by guitarist John Roth, bassist Jeff Adams, drummer Darrell Verdusco, vocalist Stephanie Calvert and keyboardist Phil Bennett.
“Loveless Fascination” boasts a straight-forward classic Melodic Rock style with nods to the ’80s, yet with a modern serrated edge courtesy of Jeff Pilson’s production.
Pilson (Foreigner, ex- Dokken) not only makes Starship sound rockin’ & kicking, he also has written all the material, minus “You Never Know”, the great midtempo AOR moment on the disc penned by the exquisite Richard Page (Mr. Mister).
So expect quality Melodic Rock here, edgy and almost Hard at places with a polished delivery but plenty of nerve and some terrific melodies.
“It’s Not the Same as Love” takes you back to 1985, dancing the night away, as this song, if it were released then, would have been a smash FM radio hit.
Then the extremely melodious – and one of my favorites – “How Do You Sleep?” brings memories of Tommy Shaw circa Ambition (1988), title track has a guitar rhythm that rocks, while “Technicolor Black And White” is one of the harder moments driven by a sharp riff, big leads by Thomas and a solid rhythm section.
Elsewhere, “What Did I Ever Do” finds Mickey exploring the darker tones that age have opened up in his voice. “Don’t Deny Me” and “Where Did We Go Wrong”, at least musically, might come closest to recapturing the sweet romanticism of Starship’s mid-1980s era of chart domination, but even here, Thomas sings with a far more visceral emotion.
“Loveless Fascination” is a fantastic US Melodic Hard Rock album that largely exceeded my expectations.
Mickey Thomas is intact, and I’d say better than ever. It is refreshing to hear an artist find that magical balance of sticking to his sound, yet pushing it forward and creating something fresh and new.
Thomas had help in crafting the record, however, as it’s Jeff Pilson who was beside him every step of the way writing killer songs, producing with a crisp (really great) sound and even playing on many tracks. They made a formidable team, as everything on the album, the songs, the lyrics, the vocals – even the artwork, is top notch.
01. It’s Not The Same As Love
02. How Do You Sleep?
03. Loveless Fascination
04. What Did I Ever Do?
05. Technicolor Black And White
06. Where Did We Go Wrong?
07. How Will I Get By?
08. You Never Know
09. You Deny Me
10. Nothing Can Keep Me From You
Mickey Thomas – Vocals
Stephanie Calvert – Vocals
John Roth – Guitar, Backing Vocals
Jeff Adams – Bass, Backing Vocals
Phil Bennett – Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Darrell “Pelican” Verdusco – Drums
Mark Abrahamian – Guitar
John Wedemeyer – Guitar
Chris Frazier – Drums
Mark Schulman – Drums
Jeff Pilson – Bass, Guitar, Keyboards, Backing Vocals
Produced & Engineered by Jeff Pilson
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