Garrison Starr

Eighteen Over Me

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Garrison Starr was only 22 when she released her major-label debut, Eighteen Over Me. The album reveals a promising talent in the formative stages of development, with flashes of brilliance gleaming through a morass of immature material. The Memphis-based singer's powerful vocal delivery and charged roots-rock flavor undoubtedly gave Geffen hope that the newcomer would become the next Melissa Etheridge. Unfortunately, Starr shares Etheridge's predilection for superfluous vocal bombast, relentlessly belting out every track as if her career depended on it. Even quieter songs like "Clearer" and "Eighteen Over Me" receive the foghorn treatment. Dennis Herring's production also has a tendency toward overkill, sometimes employing excess buzz in an apparent attempt to cover up Starr's weaker songwriting efforts. Herring's approach here is similar to his work with another Memphis artist, Cracker. With both, Herring mixes radio-friendly pop-rock production with aimless, twangy noodling. "Superhero" and "What I Wish For" are the best examples of the former. Both songs can stand with the best pop music on the radio, demonstrating the abilities of a raw young talent who has not yet reached her potential.

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