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Silent Scream [Remaster]


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Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Shooting Star: Van McLain (guitar); Gary West (acoustic guitar); Norman Dahlor (bass guitar); Steve Thomas (drums); Charles Waltz (background vocals).
  • Audio Remasterer: John W. Edwards .
  • For their fifth album, Silent Scream, songwriters Gary West (vocals) and Van McLain (guitar) finally produced a collection of tracks worthy of their 1979 self-titled debut. Although on Silent Scream, Shooting Star departs from their classic rock beginnings, the duo came through with a set of strong, memorable melodies and some of the band's most heartfelt material. In addition, McLain and West showed a sense of lyrical maturity and focus which was lacking on previous efforts, and all of the tracks here are inspired and delivered with equal parts emotional intensity and genuine sincerity. The sweeping "Somewhere in Your Heart" is illustrative of the duo's ability to write compelling music which can touch the listener without resorting to the over-sentimentality which plagues so much of contemporary pop music. The lyrics here speak of appreciation and self understanding and are wrapped within one of the discs more diverse arrangements. While the churning "Don't Stop Me Now," and the anthemic "When You're Young," capture the angst of youth beautifully, the centerpiece of the record is the charming "Little by Little." What is most striking about this track is the hummable melody and the lyrical sense of hope. Like many of the songs here, "Little by Little" still finds the silver lining. The catchy "I'm Getting Out" is another fine example of the positive lyrical approach the duo opted for on Silent Scream. Unlike their angst-ridden counterparts of the late '80s and '90s, Shooting Star is able to address serious themes and still leave the listener with a hopeful message. Silent Scream shows a more polished Shooting Star, due in large part to veteran producers Ron Nevison (Heart, Survivor, Jefferson Starship, etc.) and Greg Ladanyi (Jackson Browne, Don Henley, Warren Zevon, etc.), who were brought in to ensure that radio-friendly tracks were available. Nevison and Ladanyi, whose production savvy is evident throughout, were also responsible for helping to contemporize the Shooting Star sound. Silent Scream represents the best of the pop/rock genre of the time and remains as listenable today as when it was released. While the album failed to produce any Top 40 singles, "Summer Sun," "Heat of the Night," and "Little by Little" all had the potential to crack the charts. Interestingly, the paradoxical album title today is also quite metaphorical. Silent Scream has been out of print for quite some time, however, there are rumors that the entire Shooting Star catalog is due to be released on compact disc in the near future. If the transfer to disc is done well, Silent Scream should not be missed. ~ Jeri Montesano
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