The cover of Asa Cruz's full length debut, Pop Star, has a black and white drawing of a strapping, shirtless, guitar god, complete with a flowing mane blowing in the breeze. One look at this and you're sure they must be joking. But guess again -- Asa Cruz play all-too-sincere U2-style pop songs crossed with some glam hair-band riffs. "Fall Beneath" sounds like everything on The Joshua Tree, and "Grey" and "Resurrect Me" are actually quite catchy tunes in the realm of '80s rock. But songs like "Broken Hearted Playground" and the title track take themselves way too seriously and are caught in that purgatory between going too far and not far enough. On "Pop Star," Daniel Bautista and Bryan Hopkins sing "You know that we've fallen under your spell/You move like a serpent, hypnotic and svelte...We want you to build us a stairway to heaven/And, hope that you'll grant us a place in your kingdom /You must have been touched by the hand of Beethoven/Pop star, we'll never forget you." With a gift for such ridiculous, grandiose, mythical lyrics, Asa Cruz could pull out all the stops and make an awesome album like Ween's The Mollusk, but, no, they play it on the level.
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AllMusic Review by Charles Spano