Minky Starshine and Ken Simpson
Minky Starshine “Womanity”
Boston based Minky Starshine returns with bounce and swagger sure to please power pop fans. Opening with the Posies-like “Hard Times” it’s got both handicapping goodness and sweet harmonies with a Queen-like guitar solo. Next, “Heaven Sent” is an uplifting and romantic ballad, and it sets us up for the perfect riffage from the bass driven “Cinematic Mojo,” a sure-fire hit single.
“Straight Hip” is another good example of what makes Minky stand out, a solid vocal performance with great musicianship and a bouncy beat. More standard catchy songs like “What I Want” are followed by deep emotional appeals like “Bottle With The Blues.” The latter track, mixes those steady backing harmonies with a sliding bass and slow country beat. It quickly bounces the mood back on “Make You Mine” with some nice horns added to the chorus. No filler on this album, everything here is sure to win over new listeners ready to jump on the Minky Starshine bandwagon.
Ken Simpson “You’re No Fun Anymore”
With the help of David Mead (who also produced the album), Ethan Eubanks and “Rutling” Ken Thornton, vocalist Ken Simpson gives us a Beatlesque treat. Firstly we hear “The Poisoner’s Song” it resembles Lennon or maybe Neil Innes with “Strawberry Fields” styled orchestration. The distinctive Harrison-like slide guitar opens “He’s Not Looking” as it bounces along on a catchy melody line, it’s one of the best songs here. “Feeling So Much Better” also gets the point across as Simpson intones “It’s not easy to be growing old this way…” and the chorus puts a hopeful spin on things. Unfortunately even though next few tunes are very pleasant, the hooks aren’t really there to compel repeat listens. The lyrics continue to be ruminations of mundane middle age feelings (“I Guess I Never Told You” and “Perfect Day”). While the title may conjure up that old Monty Python sketch — this short album is quite fun most of the time.