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Sun Again

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Album Review

On 1979's Fear of Music album, Talking Heads explored "Air," "Heaven," "Paper," and other one-word song titles. Kinnie Starr, the fusion/hip-hop artist from Vancouver, resurrect this concept with Sun Again, a 2003 release on Maple Records in Canada, reissued with a bonus track in 2005 on Lakeshore Records in the U.S. The semi-cosmic, somewhat eerie musical movements — picture a much lighter version of OhGr's 2001 release, Welt (which featured all songs displaying only one word titles) — contain provocative poetry over processed beats and rhythms. "Rise" begins like a Nico dirge/prayer from hell and veers off into its own world. Perhaps this is where Nico could have taken her music five years into the new millennium. The title track is one of the CD's best, repeating the hypnotic "I'll be the sun again" line over three minutes with a five-minute gap before the first "bonus" emerges, a hard rock onslaught version of the third track, "Discovered," which comes from out of nowhere and is simply amazing. The music lends itself to hard blasts and hearing this makes one wonder why some of the other great material isn't rocked out in this fashion. Bonus track 13 — which is actually 14 considering the revision of "Discovered" — is an intriguing dance excursion crafted by the British duo Hybrid. Sun Again takes leaps and bounds through different styles and ideas; the sexual tonality of the opener, "Come," contrasts with the rap that is "E-Merged" and the new wave modern pop of "Bore Me." The combination needs more than a few spins for the listener to begin to understand what's going on in the artist's mind, but the angst about her former association with Polygram Records uncovered in "Super Clever" is immediate and unmistakable. The moral of that story is for Kinnie Starr to "make more sound" — a philosophy Aimee Mann figured out as well after her twists and turns inside the record manufacturing machine. Starr and Mann are kindred spirits, although on the opposite ends of the musical spectrum.

Sun Again, Kinnie Starr
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