Godstar

Coastal

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Godstar's second album is a reasonably engaging 1990s alternative rock record with a guitar pop slant, though not one that stands out in the pack of a genre in which many bands sound rather similar to each other. It's more eclectic than many such efforts are, due to the occasional use of strings, female lead and backup vocals, and quasi-psychedelic touches (particularly on the instrumental/collage "Theme from 'Annandale 2038'/Lula," which isn't at all characteristic of the record). Still, the songs don't penetrate too deeply, with some exceptions like "It's Hard to Love a Drunk," where the usual easygoing good cheer gives way to something more tense and frustrated. "Another Spring, Another Love" goes over more customary romantic power pop territory, though it does so more insightfully and convincingly than most of the infinite number of other power pop tunes that mine the same subject. This must also be one of the only places that you'll hear a cover of one of Neil Young's first recorded songs, "Out of My Mind" (from the first Buffalo Springfield album), though it's no remarkable spin on the original. The 2003 CD reissue adds a great deal of supplemental material by expanding the package into a two-disc affair. The first CD presents the original Coastal album, embellished by four non-LP B-sides, including the apparent partial Yoko Ono homage "Your Ego's Out of Control." The second CD, Before and After Coastal, combines six previously unreleased studio tracks from January 1993 (with 1997 piano overdubs on a couple of songs) with six live numbers from November 1995, as well as a couple of previously released 1995 studio recordings. Several, though not all, of the songs on disc two are different versions of songs that ended up on Coastal, and the material is unsurprisingly similar in nature to the Coastal album, though a little less refined.

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