Artist:
  All Star United

Title:  The Good Album

Label:  E1 Entertainment

Sunny power pop stars return …

Street dates for All Star United's latest CD started swirling on the Internet last year, and the project's since trickled out overseas and been available directly from the band.

Though core fans certainly swarmed upon those outlets to swoop up a copy, the general public at large was probably unaware of the album, which makes this first proper American retail release a chance for this fun and fresh batch of tunes to get a much-deserved second chance.

Front-man Ian Eskelin is once again vibrant, quirky and colorful in his pun-riddled rhymes across The Good Album, which hearkens back to All Star United's now classic self-titled debut and the even stronger follow-up, International Anthems for the Human Race. Textbook Brit-pop tunes flow in abundance, from the flowery "Surface of the Sun" to the sing-a-long acoustic ballad "Once Again with Feeling" and the glam rocker "Crashing Cars." Though the group is never shy about its spirituality, a sardonic sense of humor is the prevailing theme with tracks such as "Dude … That's Freaking Awesome!" and "Good Luck with the Girls" fueling that lighthearted feel.

Despite all the delight the disc brings, faithful fans can't help but feel like they've heard these basic premises before, presented in sharper contexts during the band's heyday. That's not to say All Star United is washed up by any means but more like a slightly dulled version of its previous self, which, given its insanely high-octane approach on the whole, is thankfully still able to provide an enjoyable jolt of energy, attitude and encouragement.

 

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**This review first published on March 25, 2010.