Former Sun-60 frontwoman Joan Jones struck out on her own following the dissolution of the band. Her solo debut was 1998's Starlite Criminal and it was the sound of a more mature Joan Jones. The quirky lyrics and driving, modern rock rhythms that characterized Sun-60 are mostly gone. Instead, Jones has opted for a more adult sounding sophisticated pop that is similar to Sheryl Crow. Starlite Criminal is a fully developed work that isn't short on insightful lyrics or arresting melodies, often delivered in a sultry fashion. Jones also plays trumpet on tracks like the rendezvous tale "Come B45" and the dreamy title song, co-written with former bandmate Eddie Russo. "U Were There" is a gorgeous ballad with acoustic guitar underpinnings and a heartbreaking vocal, and "Change (Won't Be Good)" is a painfully on-target observation of the last gasps of a romance. Jones does manage to get playful, as well, on the slinky, drum-loop track "Party" where she coos, "Everybody wants to come to my party wearing nothing." Starlite Criminal is a wonderful addition to an already impressive body of work by Joan Jones.
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AllMusic Review by Tom Demalon