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Meet Me At the Fair

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Album Review

Welcoming listeners with a mellow piano "Prelude," the Push Stars' debut album quickly kicks into the strummy pulse of "Me." Despite a few vocal squeals, the paced opener is promising, and its promise is not betrayed. Musically, the album features a stylistic melange ranging from the plodding of "The Other World" to the rockabilly jangle of "One Summer Day" and "Well Anyway." Thematically, the album is similarly diverse. Whereas tracks like the simply brilliant and beautiful ballad "Shy" and the intimate live recording of the caressing devotional "Wild Irish Rose" deal with yearning and unrequited love, a carnival motif is carried (even in the absence of the title track) both by the nostalgic album artwork and by tunes such as the playful "Tilt-A-Whirl Girl," the oddly chorused "Circus Town," and the "hidden" vaudevillian coda (not to mention the fact that the band took their name on the advice of a gypsy fortune teller). It might be concluded from such songs as "Me" and "Circus Town" that lack of verse-chorus structure is its own theme in Push Stars music. Though both parts are most often well-written and well-orchestrated, and together make for insightful contrast, the hook has a tendency to fall off the line and sink. Despite the few that get away, however, Fair is a solid debut that is full of honest, emotive, and bouncily fun pieces worthy of the fanfare and fanatical following the quickly rising Boston-by-way-of-Buffalo boys have developed in just a few years.


Formed: 1996 in Boston, MA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Boston alternative popsters the Push Stars are led by songwriter/vocalist/guitarist Chris Trapper, with bassist/keyboardist Dan McLoughlin and drummer Ryan MacMillan rounding out the lineup. The band debuted in 1996 with an album for the now-defunct Imago label, Meet Me at the Fair; from there, they self-released the 1997 EP Tonight and landed a spot on the soundtrack for the popular romantic comedy There's Something About Mary with the song "Everything Shines." As the buzz grew on the band, Capitol...
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Meet Me At the Fair, The Push Stars
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