All Star United - Love And Radiation

Published Thursday 15th June 2006
All Star United - Love And Radiation
All Star United - Love And Radiation

RATING 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 18486-11403
LABEL: Double Happiness FIERCD25
RELEASE DATE: 2006-05-14
RRP: £2.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

In 1997, at the height of Britpop, All Star United burst onto the scene with their debut album which was filled with catchy hooky thoroughly contemporary pop rock songs and very clever lyrics and they immediately won over loads of fans. The original line up didn't last long and although Ian Eskelin, the band's frontman continued to record using the All Star moniker, nothing they did seemed to capture the freshness and fun of their first couple of albums. For 'Love And Radiation', the original band are back together and Eskelin is still writing satirical, clever catchy songs but this time everything feels like it has been supercharged. The album is packed with great songs and no filler so songs like the turbo charged "Let's Rock Tonight", "Before You Break My Heart" and "You You You (Yeah Yeah Yeah) have their trademark upbeat approach and plenty of hooky backing vocals to add to the fun. "Love And Radiation" has one of those anthemic choruses that you can't escape and some fabulous guitar work. "We Could be Brilliant" takes the intensity level down a bit and of course, Eskelin should be commended for using that most British of words in the title. "Jesus On The Radio" will probably be a hit with Christian radio presenters everywhere (myself included) and the closing piano ballad "Take Me Away" is a stunning prayerful closer with a little nod towards classic Oasis. Personally my favourite song finds Eskelin at his most silly and satirical and this probably says more about me and how I feel about the American Christian music industry than it does about the songwriter! "Song Of the Year" is an hilarious dig at the vacuous formulaic CCM songwriting that seems to clog up the scene and the glitzy American Gospel Music Awards and the cheap celebrity culture that goes with it. Totally brilliant! All Star United are back Back BACK!

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Ed in Glasgow @ 23:57 on Oct 8 2007

I like this album because the lyrics are just deep enough to mean something, but not so deep as to clash with the bubblegum pop sound.

The only song on the album that I find a bit arch is "Let's Rock Tonight" mainly because the words "Let's rock tonight" require an accompaniment which is more rocky and less electro pop lite-synth. At least, they do to my ears...

The lyrics in the songs are tight, and memorable, especially in the chorus.

For example:

Out of the atmosphere, into the stratosphere
Over the milky way, into the new frontier
You take me to a place I've never been before
You turn my everyday into the evermore.

All you do makes me feel alive
Like I'm flying through
Starry skies, multiplied over and
over again, a million times

You you you Yeah yeah yeah
This is turning into the best day that I've had

Love is a limousine, love is a trampoline
Love is a key to the club on the mezzanine
You make me feel in ways I've never felt before
I wanna be with you now and forevermore.

The images are interesting, and I've never seen them in pop songs before.

At the other end of the emotional spectrum is the song "There's gotta be something", which offers a reason to look for God, and imagines a person at the end of his rope, dissatisfied with the pleasures to be found under the sun.

“Catch your breath from chasing after
Happiness that dissapears
Tell yourself it's cool, and cover-up with laughter;
But underneath your skin
You're dying to give in.”

Also interesting are the lyrics in "Before you break my heart". Unusual similies and metaphors abound:
"I'm just like a jet without a runway
Stuck on the ground for so long"

"I'm strong but I feel so fragile
I'm the great wall of fine China"

Musically, the album is high quality, well produced and mixed and very "now", though I suspect I'll be listening to it in a couple of decades time too.

Posted by Stasik in Russia @ 17:04 on Sep 2 2006

Amazing!!!! ASU rulz!

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