STYLE: Rock RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 18486-11403 LABEL: Double Happiness FIERCD25 FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 1 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!
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