Right out of the gate on this self-titled inaugural, Shooting Star brings on the schmaltz but gets away with it because the tracks exhibit so much heart. Most of these well-aimed cuts concern surviving and prospering. Expert musicianship propels this Kansas City sextet through the general rock heartland on a holy crusade. Noone else could have made "Just Friends" so poignant yet positive. "Tonight" is most excellent, with violin creating a pop like Kansas (but way cooler). The porch-swinger "Rainfall" recalls prime Poco, and "Midnight Man" burns better than the James Gang number of the same name. At the end of the rainbow waits "Last Chance," flat-out one of the finest songs ever: kettle drums, strings and guitars build to a crescendo that will bring tears. Tied with "When the Levee Breaks" as greatest album closer of all time (nullified by the CD reissue which adds the worthy "Wild in the Streets"). Shooting Star doesn't get enough credit.
-STONE, Cheap Trash NYC