Reviewed November 2007
To Be Continued ...
By The Northstar Session
To hear sound clips or learn more about this release, Turbula recommends visiting the band's MySpace page.
Recently relocated to the LA area from San Diego County, the Northstar Session is no longer the solitary plaything of Matt Szlachetka, but is now a dual venture with Kane McGee.
With a shared vision has come an earthier sound than on the 2005 EP, "Little Lies." Where that release was almost over-polished at times, "To Be Continued ..." has more of a stripped-down sensibility to it due at least in part, no doubt, to Kane's role as producer and engineer. The violin of Melissa Elena Reiner (who co-wrote four of the five songs) adds a richness to the sound as well.
What hasn't changed is the band's devotion to gorgeous pop melodicism. The five songs here are each a small gem of pop songwriting: more hooks than a Velcro strap, a gently building sense of dramatic tension, a refrain that brings it all full circle.
It's a winning formula, and one that ought to bring ever greater success to the band.
Review by Jim Trageser. Jim is a writer and editor living in Escondido, Calif., and was a contributor to the "Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD" (1993) and "The Routledge Encyclopedia of the Blues" (2005).