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20 Watts Reviews Star & Micey’s Star & Micey by Eric Vilas-Boas
Star & Micey

Star & Micey fulfill their ambitions, but that doesn't make them great

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Star & Micey’s “I Am the One She Needs” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 12/20 Watts

Star & Micey got their name from a story a hobo told frontman Joshua Cosby about his ex-wife on the streets of Memphis. Unlike that chance encounter, their self-titled debut to the wider world of music functions as a concise, calculated effort to fulfill the label of “soulful folk pop” they’ve given themselves.

Star & Micey kicks off with bluesy, angular, acoustic guitar lines complementing lyrics referencing a tarnished relationship. Reminiscent of Jack White’s lighter output, “Salvation Army Clothes” would work as a song if its central conceit wasn’t structured around, “[L]etting all the good people go / Like Salvation Army clothes.” While not quite as trite a line as, “I’m serious as cancer / When I say rhythm is a dancer!” from Snap’s “Rhythm Is a Dancer,” it comes close.

The hokey approach characterizes most of the album. Thankfully, apart from that initial pitfall, Star & Micey churn out track after track of respectable, soul-infused folk. Songs like “My Beginning,” “She’s on Fire” and “I Am the One She Needs” flirt with familiar guitar work and uncomplicated rhyming lyrics, and while they break no new ground, they don’t really need to.

One track in particular, “On Your Own,” midway through the album, espouses carpe diem values and instrumental crescendos for a transformative effect on the audience. Driven by a charging piano line and Cosby’s soaring vocals, it’s one of the better recently released self-help songs.

The result is pulpy, optimistic pop fit for any Top 40 context, but nothing worth repeating. The band’s more melancholy work, however — on songs like “So Much Pain” and “Carly” – fall flat where they could glide.

The album’s closer follows that trend, redeeming the melodrama that came before it. “Quicksand” is a heartfelt, acoustic guitar-driven ballad written for a woman who “wandered off without a cause and let [her]self go and get lost.” More than a love song, “Quicksand,” with its soft-spoken lyrics and slow, repetitive chord progression reminds the listener that love ends and begins anew.

In the end, Star & Micey fail to provide their listeners with anything we haven’t heard before from the indie folk-pop sphere. Nonetheless, they fit their genre nicely, and fit the label of “soulful folk pop” nicely.

— Eric Vilas-Boas

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