With the possible exception of Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, bass players in rock bands rarely garner much attention. Content to the stand just outside of the spotlight and plunk out beats on their guitars, bassists proudly toil in obscurity. That certainly cannot be said of the group Dogstar, whose bass player, actor Keanu Reeves, has garnered more than a little publicity. Unfortunately, most of that publicity has had nothing to do with the group's music or Reeves' musical acumen. While Reeves' bass playing is more than competent, the real star of the show is the rich voice and songwriting ability of lead singer Bret Domrose. Songs like "Washington" and the first single, "Cornerstore," are surprisingly effective, as is an engaging cover of the Carpenters hit "Superstar." Too often, however, the music loses its focus and degenerates into sorry rehashes of Matchbox 20 and Pearl Jam. While Happy Ending is clearly more than just a vanity project for a movie star, Dogstar still has a way to go before the band's music can stand on its own.
AllMusic Review by Jon Azpiri