For those music lovers who missed the first (or even second incarnation) of “Listen Again,” “Listen Again” is a review series in which we revisit releases that, for whatever reason, never received the attention or acclaim they might have deserved when they first hit the record bins. Whether it was because the album was ahead of its time, strayed from the artist’s expected style, was misunderstood, or just not properly promoted, the “Listen Again” series urges music fans to “listen again.” This time we revisit The Electric Stars’ 2012 Detour Records disc titled “Sonic Candy Soul.”

The Electric Stars

The Electric Stars are a UK-based mod rock band and one of your rockin’ reviewer’s new fave acts.

For those readers not yet familiar with the group, The Electric Stars’ present roster includes Andy Bee (guitar and music collaboration), Jason Edge (lead vocals and songwriting), Jonathan French (drums), and Keith Whitehead (bass). When “Sonic Candy Soul” was recorded, the band also included guitarist Damian Lawson. Also appearing on the album is Primal Scream’s Denise Johnson providing backing vocals. The band’s signature sound remains one that is inspired by classics like the Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, and The Beatles.

Track by track

This 11-track album opens on “136.” This is indeed “beautiful music for beautiful people.” The album opener is catchy enough to draw the listener in with a balance of hard and soft chords, good bass, and retro keys to boot.

The second selection is “Between the Streets and the Stars.” This is also wonderfully retro and includes a catchy melody and fun lyrics. It even has a vaguely Bowie close to it.

“Alison Williams” is good in part because it has noteworthy lyrics and seems to somehow meld elements of Pink Floyd and The Beatles. It just plain works.

Not to be confused with the 1976 song by Kiss, “I Want You” is an original song that seems ready-made for use in a vintage remake TV show or motion picture soundtrack. It’s got some of the expected but oh so welcome groovy psychedelic elements that make their music fun.

The next number, “Blind,” is intriguing with both The Small Faces and “Dr. Robert”-era vocal work.

“Who’s Gonna Satisfy Me” includes an R&B tinge, infectious rhythm, and pulsing guitar riffs. It is perhaps a bit overshadowed by “Stoned Again” which is highlighted with what sounds like brass, simple but effective bass, compelling guitar lines, and eloquent lyrics. “Old Fashion Girl” has a laid-back intro, noteworthy keys, and vocal work that alternates in expressions.

”Not Man Enough” features a short but sweet guitar break, a familiar theme, and a bit of that expressive depth they sometimes go for with their material. “Bedtime Stories” includes some ghostly instrumental work that compliments the story in this angst-soaked song. The album endnote is the absorbing and aptly bitter-sweet “Isolation” which features a bit of a tip of the hat to John Lennon heart-on-my-sleeve vocals.

'Between The Streets And The Stars'

The accompanying single, “Between The Streets And The Stars” was released in early 2013. Track one is the popular titular “Between The Streets And The Stars” which deserved its single release. In the tradition of vinyl 45s, it also includes a second song, “Every Now And Then,” which was not included on the album but still stands as yet another example of the band’s abilities and is a nice extra.

Listen again

Overall, The Electric Stars’ “Sonic Candy Soul” album is a collection of material that inspires a feeling of déjà vu via music that dances on the razor sharp edge of originally inspired audio offerings and derivative yet driven ditties without even a paper cut. So, if you’ve never heard The Electric Stars' "Sonic Candy Soul,” listen to it. If you've already listened to it...listen again.

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