George Starostin's Reviews



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Goran Janicijevic <> (21.08.2005)

Follow this: Spooky Tooth --> Free --> Bad Company --> Foreigner. A quick history of a genre degeneration.


Glenn Wiener <> (10.02.2002)

I liked these guys when I first started high school. Their focused rock n roll songs seemed to have some appeal for my 15 year old brain back then. As I grew older, my tastes significantly matured and I found that this album fell very short on crativity. All the songs seem to have four or five word choruses and very basic verses. "Your as cold as ice, your willing to sacrifice our love. You want paradise, someday you'll pay the price I know." Not the stuff legends are made of. The instrumental prowess isn't too strong I still kind of like 'Long Long Way From Home' and Lou Gramm has a decent voice, but that is it in the positive category for this recording and band.

<> (14.04.2003)

I personally think George is being a little hard on this album. First of all, at the risk of sounding unhip, I really do not know the definition of arena rock. I'm not being a smart ass, I'm being honest...what is arena rock? Is it a band that was so successful that it sold out arenas? Well, hell, the Beatles were the first to do that weren't they? Or is it a band who's songs are radio friendly, with a strong emphasis on the chorus or more commonly known in the business as the hook. The formula for radio success is simple...race to the chorus. Pound the chorus hard. Make the listener remember that song hours later to where he's humming it. Modern day country music has taken this formula to great success. How come it's not called arena country? I think this album which was released in the midst of the fury of punk, and the peak of disco, was extremely ballsy. That it did so well states the fact that the public looked upon the other aforementioned musical styles and said, "Ok that was cute, now let's hear some people who can actually play again." You have former members of Spooky Tooth and King Crimson who know the business well to guide things along, and the result is instant success. The songs are well written and the three hits Feels Like The First Time, Cold As Ice, and Long Long Way From Home were all radio staples. I always liked Headknocker for some reason. I guess the line "he drives a 57 coupe, walks with a stoop, swears James Dean isn't dead" kind of stuck in my head. Starrider to me was always my favorite song. I don't believe it's Lou Gramm singing it. Doesn't sound like him. It's kind of a spacey sort of ballad with a cool three part harmony on the chorus. Always loved that one. These guys would go on to have a pretty successful career. Mick Jones was a very good songwriter, producer, guitarist, and keyboard player. He wears all these hats on this album, and it is worth checking out. Rhino records has gotten their catalog and remastered all of it, this album included with bonus tracks. Look for that version.

[Special author note: perhaps I do need to explain the concept of "arena rock" - after all, every rock term means different things to different people, and for me, "arena rock" is definable as "loud, macho hard rock typical of the Seventies, with an emphasis on singalong choruses easily caught up by the audience, often with an anthemic, all-around pretentious aura around it, with a macho/'brawny' frontman and a bunch of power ballads thrown in for good measure". Obviously, "arena rock" is not the best term for this, but so far no better one has been invented. Typical songs include Queen's 'We Will Rock' and uh... well, just about every Foreigner song recorded. Since the genre by definition implies pandering to the lowest common denominator, I can't see many arena rock songs, or bands, that I'd like - but of course, there are exceptions. The Who could do arena rock well because the actual songs they performed were much more than just arena rock.]


<> (28.01.2006)

I am a fan. I fondled my first breasts to double vision. You obviously didn't get caught up in the breast fondling over Foreigner so you have the objectivity to be critical. That's OK.


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<> (02.11.2003)

Ok, so you pick on some groups for having no energy, then pick on Foreigner for trying to have energy. You pick on groups that are offensively bad, then say that someone should tell Foreigner "true rock'n'roll wasn't about inoffensive mid-tempo riffage." Who are you to define "true rock'n'roll?" Get a life! Seriously, talk about bias. Juke Box Hero is a catchy song, with lyrics that are meant to make people want to be a rock star. So what if Mick Jones wrote a song based on how he felt when he was 15 or something? He took inspiration from somewhere and wrote a song about wanting to be a rock star. I bet u had that inspiration at some point in your life. Have you written a song as good as 'Juke Box Hero'? Didn't think so. You review songs based too much on biases, and not enough on hooks, melody, and overall quality. I guess we differ in opinion about what makes a good song. I think it is the music, the lyrics are an extra bonus if they sound cool, mean something to me personally, or are fun to sing a long with. You think the lyrics make a song, or completely ruin it, even if the song is really catchy and melodic or has a great riff. Just look past the lyrics then. It's called Rock music not rock lyrics. By the way, I don't love Foreigner, i just think you are sometimes a little harsh on bands for some of the wrong reasons. Thanks for taking my coments.


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