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Star

Belly

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Album Review

Tanya Donelly's songwriting began to blossom on Throwing Muses' Real Ramona, and Belly's debut, Star, is where it reaches fruition. Using the trancy harmonies of dream pop as a foundation, Donelly expands the genre's boundaries, trimming away its pretensions and incorporating a flair for sweet, concise pop hooks and folk-rock inflections. She also spikes her airy melodies with disarmingly disturbing lyrics. Images of betrayal and death float throughout the album, but what hits home initially — and what stays after the album is finished — are the hooks, whether it's the rolling singalong of "Gepetto," the surging "Slow Dog," the melancholy "Stay," or the cool, detached sexiness of "Feed the Tree." Occasionally, Donelly suffers from preciousness or unformed ideas, yet Star remains an enchanting debut.

Customer Reviews

From 4ADs finest

The 4AD record label did of course produce some of the finest music of the nineties, but my personal favourite was this. The pick of the tracks are the chilled indie-pop-tastic singles Feed the Tree and Gepetto, and the quirky ballad Untogether. The faster paced tracks such as Dusted and Slow Dog are weaved nicely with beautiful ballads (Witch, Everyword). I love this album.

Biography

Formed: 1991 in Boston, MA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Following several years in Throwing Muses, as well as a brief detour in the Breeders in 1990, Tanya Donelly formed her own band, Belly, in 1992. With Belly, Donelly expanded her dreamy pop hooks into more concise, catchy songs, as well as harder-edged rock. The band's 1993 debut, Star, became one of the first beneficiaries of the commercialization of alternative rock; it rode to gold status within its first year of release, as "Feed the Tree" made headway on mainstream...
Full bio