Picks and Pans Review: Knee Deep in the Hoopla
With each change in name, from Jefferson Airplane to Jefferson Starship to plain old Starship, this 20-year-old rock dinosaur has diminished in energy and appeal. Its latest LP is a mismatched shambles. Although producers Dennis Lambert, Peter Wolf and Jeremy Smith (who worked together on the Commodores' Nightshift) give Starship's music some punch, it's like trying to resuscitate a pork chop. The single hit We Built This City, with nice keyboards by Wolf, is only a tease. The rest of the album is weary hackwork. It seems a shame to waste the skills of vocalist Mickey Thomas, who proved his pipes years ago with Elvin Bishop. Thomas does at least tend to mellow the strident effect of Grace Slick's voice in the duets he does with her. Undiluted, Slick, who is the only survivor of the original band, can be unbearably grating. Her version of Rock Myself To Sleep with Kevin Dubrow of Quiet Riot could end up being the year's greatest rock travesty. It sounds like a duet by two dyspeptic cats. Starship will no doubt continue to churn out records under one name or another, even though Knee Deep in the Hoopla should be music to retire by. (Grunt/RCA)
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