For those who remember All Star United before Ian Eskelin became the only remaining original member, their 1997 debut, simply titled All Star United, is a pop/rock masterpiece. Though the original title was to be "Three Ring Circus," the album brings out some of the band's finest material from they very beginning of their career. For starters, "La La Land," the opening track, shoots forth a fine mixture of melodic guitars and keyboards while providing a fun and thought-provoking message. Next up is "Bright Red Carpet," possibly ASU's best song to date, exposes the truth behind all the glamour of Hollywood fame and fortune. The following tracks which include "Angels," "Drive," and "Torn" are well-rounded tracks but are minor tunes compared to what is presented next.
"Smash Hit" is also an outstanding ASU track that puts into perspective all the media hype and overexposure that is given to all types of merchandise associated with Christian faith and doctrine, a factor that has at one point gone a little too commercial in general. Fortunately, All Star United bounces back lyrically in the next song "Savior of My Universe," which is sort of a response to the song preceding it with the lyrics like 'And when it all is said and done, until the end, yes You're the only One. And when the world is in reverse, You're the Savior of my universe.' The next track, entitled "Beautiful Thing," could easily be categorized as a fun, rock n' roll party song with lyrics such as 'It's a beautiful thing, to be loved by You; oh, that will be enough to put me through, it's a beautiful thing.' The album closes with two lighter songs entitled "Tenderness" and "Lullaby" which make a fitting end to the album. However, the album is not yet over as there ends up being a hidden track a little later on track 10 after the ending of "Lullaby" which is somewhat funny but for some reason or other, really didn't hold my interest. It nevertheless offers an additional touch of humor to end the disc on a positive note.
I can honestly say that it is my belief that All Star United's self-titled album has yet to be outdone by any other albums the band has since released over the past 5 years. Regardless, if you are into checking out a variety of diverse sounds from any one particular band, I would recommend giving the other ASU albums a listen, even though their first album was what boosted their success in Christian music.JFH Reader Review: Review date: 12/28/03, written by Paul Portell for Jesusfreakhideout.com
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