STARLA! UBIQUITOUS: A New Train of Thought: Cassette

“Ubiquitous” is defined, so says my battered copy of Webster’s 9th, as “existing or being everywhere at the same time.” While that sort of multifaceted quality may be true in, I don’t know, this woman’s personal life or her emotional canon or whatever, her sonic output exists firmly within the walls of folk music. I’m sure she’s just thrilled with what will probably be yet another Ani Difranco comparison to her stuff, but that’s a lot of what I’m hearing, I’d say somewhere around the first self-titled record and Not a Pretty Girl. Another reference would be Kaia’s stuff (mostly in the vocals), at least the live material I’ve heard. It’s very laid-back, very calm—I enjoyed the fact that there are a few moments of her and the engineer dude talking and laughing in between songs, giving it a very honest, “get it down in one take” feel. I’d say the one drawback (and this is where the ubiquity does more damage than help) is the song “Obsessive Compulsive Love Song”: it’s a sarcastic take on unhealthy relationships, and its cynicism clumsily flies in the face of the rest of the record’s hopeful, joyful, politics-are-personal tone. All in all though, rest of the album shines pretty nicely.

 –keith (Sharpie Fumes)