And Other Smaller, Brighter Worlds

The Atari Star

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And Other Smaller, Brighter Worlds Review

by Kurt Morris

Anyone wanting to define the word "warble" need look no further than Marc Ruvolo's vocals on the third release from the Chicago foursome the Atari Star. And Other Smaller, Brighter Worlds shows a very mature band whose members know where they're heading and what they want to do. With pop roots in '60s and '70s music and assistance from producer Jeremy Lemos (Joan of Arc, Smog, Stereolab), the Atari Star have reached a spot heretofore unknown for the band. Listening to this, it's almost hard to believe that Ruvolo was once a member of the snotty punk band the Traitors. While much of the music is gentle, peaceful, and poppy, sometimes that almost serves as a negative, coming across as stark to the point of needing more to fill in the empty pockets. Simplicity can be good, but it has to be done just right, usually by telling a story and featuring unique vocals. Ruvolo has the vocals; he just needs to match them with lyrics of equal proportion and he'll have quite the winner. Nonetheless, the Atari Star have still served up a good pop album that serves as a nice backdrop for sunny summer afternoons. Based upon the progression of the Atari Star to this point, there would appear to be nothing but "brighter worlds" ahead for this band.

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