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Album Review: Phebe Starr “Chronicles” Human Truths With Sweet Pop

The current landscape of mainstream music is one that builds upon synthetic fantasies. People want to feel like life is electric because, now more than ever, the world seems to be losing its spark. Music always comes to both reflect and counter the states of humanity. Phebe Starr’s Chronicles aims to to bring a fantastical approach to the wrongness and rawness of life.

Starr’s Chronicles leaves you torn in the best way. Songs such as “Lavender Scars” and “They Keep Telling Me” show the irony in how the world tells you to heal while simultaneously hurting you. In life, we are all constantly told not to give the power over ourselves to others, but who has not used the line “He started it!”. How we are prompted to react based on others’ actions, both good and bad, seems to lyrically motivate Starr, and draw a sonic contrast between her words and instrumentals. “Lavender Scars” sounds gorgeous and gives Imogen Heap vibes of synthetic wonder. Meanwhile, “They Keep Telling Me” sounds bright as if the sky was orange, pink, and yellow instead of plain blue, yet the track actually questions how someone tells you to be free while confining you to their perceptions. How we advise each other to live life better while also feeling as if we are not fully living our own is one of the biggest idiosyncrasies of life, especially in terms of how “well” humanity treats itself. In tracks such as, “Wonder” Starr sings to a woman who has been torn by others but manages to make her spirit unconquerable, while “Two Hearts” and “Feel My Love” are all about teaching each other that love is strength. Thus, Starr’s album is not to be underestimated in its spiritual nuances, despite, the fact that it sounds like mainstream pop.

Sometimes, people can find it insulting to be called “mainstream”, while others do not really know what it means. For me, if it sounds like you could be on the radio, then you are mainstream, which IS NOT a bad thing, especially in Starr’s case. The fact that her songs feel dance-floor ready like “Feel My Love” and “Dream” is amazing. They have epic drumming and bass-lines that drop unto you like a spotlight would in your moment to shine. They are instant in their joy and “sing-along” capacities, which are known attributes to mainstream music. Yet, what makes Starr unique from other artists with radio dreams is that she does not sweeten her lyrics to coy from human realities. If Starr needs to amplify her devastation she will bring forth an emotional weight (“Wonder”), but if she wants to show hope, love, and perseverance she will give her voice an effortless, brighter flow. Thus, Starr sings her songs as if she were enchanted by them; like they wrote themselves, and chose her to utter them with vocals that balance between heaviness and lightness such as, the human spirit. For More Information On Phebe Starr And To Buy Chronicles Ep On March 31 Click Here.