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01 11 2002
More great Outerstar reviews! The Daily Page and Isthmus Weekly review the album.


Yes, there is a middle way in pop music, an approach that rejects the sexy emptiness of Britney and the wan, self-involved whisperings of prog pretenders Radiohead.  And it's represented by practitioners like Outerstar, an L.A.-based duo with Brit roots who hope to conquer the world with lush, emphatically beat-based music that relies on sharp melodies and existential poetry to get over.  Pegged by their recently debuted label Jaggo (actually Capitol in indie clothing) as a logical extension of Brit-pop heroes like the Verve's Richard Ashcroft and Oasis' Noel Gallagher, Outerstar are really less rawk than that, but the comparisons aren't completely off the mark.

Instead of crafting verses and choruses that pop together with the plastic precision of Lego blocks, Outerstar sample, chord and keen their way through 11 shifting, drifting songs here that might have been called trip hop.  Today, addictive, architecturally sound cuts like the acrid anthem "In the Streets" and the wispy Lou Reed/Bowie-style complaint "Limousine" really fit no radio format or CD-rack subcategory.  But that isn't an insurmountable problem for these experimental songwriters.  As the talented duo put it on their whooshing psychedelic post-punker "Round Down in My Head," the truly creative often find that it's best to "beat the odds until they beat on me" and quit worrying so much about how the fickle public will receive them.

Reviewed by Tom Laskin
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