A little fact about great musical towns that many won’t know, unless of course they closely follow the music business. Tulsa Oklahoma is one of the “great” centers for music around the world. Hailing out of that wonderful, artistic city comes such groups and artists as Hanson, (may as well start off with that one), then there is the great JJ Cale, The Tractors, Leon Russel, David Gates from the band Bread, Dwight Twilley, Pillar and out of the band Pillar came the original version of Stars Go Dim as well as the new rendition of the Pop band that is starting to make headway and crossing over from their Christian roots into the Pop mainstream. Tulsa and Oklahoma have for years contributed greatly to the world of music, that contribution with the band Stars Go Dim continues.
A number of years ago I hosted and promoted a couple of concerts with the original version of the band Stars Go Dim in Wichita Kansas. Coming out of the music world myself, I saw a band I was impressed with from a musical capacity as well as a performance and sense of professionalism that didn’t seem to exist within many new bands today.
Upon my return home from Tennessee one Christmas I stopped at a Kole’s department store in Kansas City to do some after Christmas shopping, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the music of Stars Go Dim being played on the stores music rotation. It wasn’t long before I started to hear some of Stars Go Dim’s music on the radio. Knowing the quality of the band, I was pleasantly surprised that a quality band out of the Christian world was getting some of the airplay they were in the non-Christian world.
Recently I was given the opportunity to review the new release from Stars Go Dim. I was surprised when I heard it was their first release, especially since being familiar with the earlier incarnation of the band and having an older CD from that band. After some research, and help from the band’s publicist and speaking to some of the bands former band members I became aware that the band had gone their separate ways and that Chris Cleveland, one of the bands original members had brought about a new rendition of the band. While I initially had some skepticism, I have to admit, the sound of Stars Go Dim, with a quality pop rock sound and meaningful lyrics was maintained.
The band’s self-titled album is now available through various locations. The album is on Fervent Records. It consists of guitar-driven power pop. One of the things that stands out as a unique attribute of the band is the quality vocals, which back up a strong, non-threatening, yet, non-compromising message of life which can be improved on and made stronger by their faith.
The first single off of the album, “You are Loved,” has done quite well on the charts and is getting quite a bit of airplay. The song exemplifies the band’s abilities to produce and perform a catchy, well-played tune, yet with a message of hope. As one who appreciates the aspects of talent and quality, and as one often critical of the Christian Industry, it is nice to have a refreshing sound, performed with quality and originality. I also appreciate and value a message that can give hope, especially in a world where I believe people are searching for answers, while at the same time, having such unloving messages thrown in their faces from many who espouse themselves as Christians and followers of Jesus. It seems as if we have forgotten at times the concepts of loving others, and remembering the example of God, who loved us while we were yet sinners. It is a message that can resonate with the hurting in our world, it is a message and style well delivered by Stars Go Dim.
While the album starts off with an old, redone version of the “Doxology,” we hear it in such a new way that those who haven’t given up on the concept of church will appreciate. It also shows the continued dedication to faith. It blends story and hope throughout the songs which are book-ended by Doxology, a reminder of the power of church. The other bookend of the album concludes with the song “Here.” A song which reminds the listener of the reality that Jesus is with us, He is constantly “Here,” through our joys and difficulties. The song is a prayer and a reminder that Jesus is in fact, the hope we all need, no matter what our circumstance.
I was again, skeptical, was I going to like this new rendition of Stars Go Dim? Would they hold up to the quality of the band I was personally familiar with? To be straight forward, the answer to those questions and more for me was a resounding yes. I like the album, in fact, it is one of the albums I listen to more than any other now, not because I had to review it, but because it speaks to me. The need to reach people is something I appreciate and know the importance of. I know others giving he album a chance will also appreciate it.
As one involved in the early days of “Jesus Music” and “CCM” I have to say, there are many artists I am reluctant to support, Stars Go Dim isn’t one of them. Thankfully, some bands have remembered the importance of performing excellently, while at the same time, remembering the one who is above all and the creator of the talents they have. Thankfully they also share their faith in an honest, real way, with those who need to hear it.
For the new rendition of Stars Go Dim and their new self-titled album: on a scale of 1 – 10 I give a refreshing score of 8 for the respect I have for a band doing all of the things mentioned above and, the 8 letters in the word that expresses my feelings for this album and this band’s direction: grateful.
Purchase the album here on iTunes.
Enjoy this video of You Are Loved from their album: