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Spirits Burning - Starhawk CD (album) cover


Spirits Burning


Psychedelic/Space Rock

4.00 | 2 ratings

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4 stars SPIRITS BURNING is a sheer studio project, headed by California based composer and producer Don Falcone. Just knowing with safety - quite apart from the fact that Daevid Allen unfortunately is not with us anymore - they never ever will be caught in the act while stepping on the stage altogether, even not halfway. Don instead organizes the process to bring contributions from more than 40 musicians into accord by using some modern technique, and he's very experienced at that, just for the record.

'Starhawk' comes as a typical concept album, thus in some sense comparable to their 2011 album 'Behold The Action Man'. It's a musical adaption, following the steps of Mack Maloney's eponymous sci-fi series. Hereby the booklet offers an 8-page comic, which will give you a clue about the story running behind. And this first of all is featuring space traveller Hawk Hunter as the central figure. Accordingly, as might be expected, lyric-wise there's much to tell, this presented by a well sorted crew of vocalists who are embracing a proper range of expression.

By way of example just let me mention Judge Smith's more theatrical operetta style on Stellar Kingdom, which may not attract while staying on its own, but when considering the context, very well though. Or later you'll be introduced to some celestial respectively ethereal contributions presented by Emma McKenzie and Bridget Wishart, just when Hawk Hunter's new flame Princess Xara comes into play. Well, as for a first summary this means that the vocal parts are supplied as a really well thought out aspect here.

Musically the album covers a lot of influences and is characterized by a rather cinematic flow, which nonetheless, like Right On The Mark, includes enough rock songs as such. Hence you won't miss Hawkwind references either way - no wonder when having a look at the complete line up. Now coming to 'Hawk and Hunter' - I'm really flabbergasted by the song I Have Two Names. Kev Ellis is singing, the booklet tells. Albeit, also taking the composition as such into account, at first I meant to hear a David Bowie issue. Surely successful, on top of it Billy Sherwood contributes a nice space guitar solo.

And then Let's All Go Cloud Puffing is serving a strong indo/raga feel, My Life Of Voices on the other hand will include crimsonesque moments. There are attractive melodic compositions of lasting memory given, like the couple We Move You and Tripping With The Royal Family featuring Paul Sears behind the drum kit. Furthermore a lot of soaring guitars as well as spheric synths are provided, the latter in the same way as the organ and strings by Don himself basically.

Not solely regarding the story behind, 'Starhawk' is more of a mellow space rock album overall. This quasi like recollecting the SPIRITS BURNING origin, since some former albums stylistically quite a lot are wandering through other territories. The more I listen the more I can smell the rounded concept and implementation. Finally, 'So strong is desire - so strong is my fire' ... the band are finishing this episode with a melancholic song of love, interpreted by Karen Anderson on this occasion. Yes, they are catering for many tastes here - a nice album that is well worth a closer listen.

Rivertree | 4/5 |


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