Donita Sparks / The Stellar Moments

Transmiticate

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Think Donita Sparks, and raw and raunchy grunge-punk would come to mind for many rock music fans -- as evidenced by her work with L7. But Sparks' 2008 solo debut, Transmiticate, shows that the singer/guitarist is not going to merely follow in the expected sonic path. While there are indeed a few L7-esque elements spotted throughout, her previous band never embraced the electro-pop and dance styles that Sparks does here. And while the majority of pop music in the early 21st century has become so computerized and perfect that it oft-times sounds like it was composed/played by a bunch of androids, Sparks succeeds in incorporating a human element into the proceedings. Pop music sounding like it's actually being played and sung by real people -- what a novel idea! And it works well -- as Sparks is well aware of her musical comfort zone, and doesn't venture far outside of it. The result is smartly penned pop with a hard rock edge, as evidenced by such standouts as "Fly Feather Fly," "Infancy of a Disaster," and "Curtains for Cathy." Transmiticate should manage to appeal to both Sparks' longtime fans, as well as fans of melodic rock and hard-edged pop.

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