World Entertainment War

World Entertainment War

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This 1991 disc is interesting and important as a Jefferson Starship artifact. Vocalist Darby Gould would step into Grace Slick's shoes, all documented nicely on Jefferson Starship's own Deep Space/Virgin Sky disc from 1995, and her emergence here is a nice starting point for a singer who still works with the legendary '70s group well into the new millennium. In fact, it's not a stretch to say this material follows the Paul Kantner solo efforts of the '70s, though not with as much vision and charm. The key song, "Dark Ages," written by vocalist Rob Brezsny, became an important part of the JS 1990s set and is a keeper. A melody with strong commercial potential, the message also cuts through better than anything else on this self-titled disc. The 20-track CD actually has 14 songs with radical ramblings in between, those words not as coherent as Tommy James audio movie, A Night in Big City, but still annoying enough to interrupt the flow. The music has a bit of intrigue, track 14 "Kick In" containing moments of interest, but -- for the most part -- the sounds begin to lose their identity and at times the drama becomes tedious. One can certainly hear seeds of the latter day Jefferson Starship here, and the group is from San Francisco with a thanks to Paul Kantner in the credits. There's an elaborate six-page fold-out with bizarre artwork looking like Hieronymus Bosch paintings while the artist was on a downer. The lyric/text is very thick and after many, many repeated spins it is so very hard to get a grasp on what they were doing, outside of "Dark Ages," a song that truly resonates. "In a Crisis" has its moments as well, a definitive way to end the disc and not a bad combination of Quicksilver Messenger Service perhaps having a lost weekend on the Indian Reservation. The project gets an A for effort, a C or passing grade for execution, and for those looking for rock music with an interesting edge, you could do worse to go elsewhere. Hardcore Jefferson Starship fans should definitely seek it out.

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