James

She's a Star [CD2]

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AllMusic Review by

This edition of James's "She's a Star" (CD#2) contains three original recordings as its B-sides. The first track should be familiar to fans of the band. "She's a Star" is a pretty, soaring ode built on fuzzy guitars and Tim Booth's fragile vocals, taken from the band's Whiplash album. "Chunney Chops" sounds like early New Order fronted by Tim Booth; that's a very good thing indeed. Booth repeatedly sings "you will be sorry" over lo-fi keyboard sounds as the songs reaches for emotion in icy electronics. The only missing ingredient is late producer Martin Hannett. "Fishknives" sees Tim Booth's vocals processed as if they're coming from dusty, old vinyl. Dark guitar sounds wail out of the musical stew, suggesting Joy Division-era Peter Hook; maybe it's the Manchester connection, but the first two tracks echo the Factory ethic quite effectively. The song's only fault is that it ends when it sounds as if it's about to follow an even more interesting tangent. "Van Gogh's Dog" is even more minimal, with Booth singing in a hushed style over delicate, electronic sounds. Two other editions of the single were released. CD#1 includes two live performances of songs from the band's early days. CD#3 contains three remixes; two of the title track and one of "Come Home" from Gold Mother. This edition of original B-sides is probably the most compelling of the three. She's a Star CD#2 is like a cohesive, emotional mini-album, and it's definitely worthy of repeated listens.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:43
2 5:00
3 3:54
4 4:09
blue highlight denotes track pick