Starry Eyed And Laughing
www.starryeyedandlaughing.com
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Review of 'Starry Eyed & Laughing' by Ken Barnes, Phonograph Record, March 1975
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THIS ALBUM was preceded by a year-long barrage of hype, emanating from England, revolving around the band's stylistic similarities to the early Byrds.
The hype was justified, though - they've got it all right, and what's better, they don't flaunt it either.
The folk-rock sound, the electric twelve-string is there, but mixed in with a batch of modern original songs to create a startlingly good debut album.

The Byrds similarities are inescapable. Starry Eyed and Laughing idolized the Byrds, took their name from 'Chimes of Freedom', and have developed similar airy harmonies and twelve-string pyrotechnics. When the Byrds evolved that sound originally, it was revolutionary, building off Beatles and Searchers groundwork but blazing new sonic trails, a subtle yet endlessly exciting mutation. Since then nobody's really captured it, certainly not CSNY or any of the other spinoffs, or even the Byrds themselves on their reunion.

Starry Eyed and Laughing come closest, and their ringing guitars sound perfectly delightful.
But where a strict copy band would fall into the pointless nostalgia category, Starry-Eyed and Laughing leave the ultimate impression of being an exciting new band, on their way up with unlimited potential.

Their LP features 12 original songs, extremely impressive material. Several songs are out-and-out rockers, which balance the folk-rock tunes and ballads superbly. My immediate favorites are 'Closer to You Now', a lovely and complex song with a shimmering guitar break, and 'Lady Came from the South', with exquisite chording and a memorable melody line. The blistering guitar work on 'Everybody' deserves a plug, and there are other tracks just as strong. Nor is there anything close to a dud on the whole LP. It should come out on Columbia eventually; and should not be missed - it's another in a series of all-too-uncommon reminders of how exciting rock & roll music was meant to be.        - Ken Barnes, 1975       
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