Spoonful of Stars

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Smoken is vocalist Lauren Smoken -- a fiery blues-rock belter, supported by guitarist George Mazzola. The duo has written a set of dynamic barn-burners for her debut album, Spoonful of Stars. Both are showcased in prime form on this record, as each are given plenty of space to sing and play, with each displaying great chops. Smoken's sultry, svelte, impassioned vocals of course take the center stage, and deservedly so, since her powerful delivery puts these songs over, but Mazzola has enough place to show he's quite a guitarist in his own right. But perhaps the best thing about Spoonful of Stars is that Smoken and Mazzola not only can play, but they can write really strong songs, too. From the moment "Are U Still Thinking" kicks off the record, it's evident that these two have written a strong set of songs that go beyond what barroom blues-rock in the early 2000s can do -- it's melodic and tough, sexy and smart all at the same time. Perhaps this production doesn't crackle with the ferocity of a live show, but with these fine performances and strong set of songs, Spoonful of Stars is a debut that proves Smoken is a talent worth watching.

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