Garrison Starr

Within music, division lines between genres have always been a little fuzzy: some electronic music follows form to classical orchestral pieces or incorporates operatic vocals, folk music echoes the acoustical sounds of classic country western music and new country music breaks into hard riffs reminiscent of older rock songs. The evolution of sounds and lyrics hope to bring out the best attributes of various styles to produce a new variant.

The new Vanguard release by Garrison Starr makes these division lines even thinner. In her new album, “The Sound of You and Me,” Starr pulls out the light, folk guitar sounds that lead many aficionados to caffeine-pushing establishments on open mic nights. She does not stay with the folk genre for long on the album. As she lets the lyrics flow out, she gives away her Mississippi roots and makes the listener lean towards labeling the album as country.

This album adds itself into a bastardized, half-country genre that encompasses a twangy folk group such as Clem Snide. These mismatched groups have the ability to pull fans from multiple bases and move listeners onto new genres, which they would not have previously considered.

She says, “These songs are about my search for lasting love in my life and the experiences and heartaches I’ve endured in that journey.”

More than 10 years after her debut EP, “Stupid Girl,” Starr changes her direction a bit and steps away from her woman empowering lyrics into a more emotional style. She wants listeners to respect her as a songwriter and for her album to last rather than be just another flavor of the week forgotten artist.

Unfortunately her dreams of a folk-princess crown will not be realized in this album. Almost every song has a notable quality itself, right up until the second Starr begins to sing. Perhaps it was the collaborator, guitarist Nelson Hubbard, who made Starr flicker slightly in this twang-filled folk explosion.

The country style vocals bring the album down instead of blending smoothly with the music. Starr keeps her vocals within a small range and does not bother putting in any extra effort. It is more than just an album you could sing along with; it is an album you could have sung.

For old Starr fans, this album is set to be a letdown but only time will tell if her dreams of “Starr-dom” will appear. The “Sound of You and Me” will hit stores on March 13.

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