By Barry Gilbert
Of the Post-Dispatch

February 26, 2004

Garrison Starr
"Airstreams & Satellites"
Vanguard Records

"You wrapped your arms around me/and I woke up soaked in gasoline," Garrison Starr sings. It's the kind of image that doesn't soon flicker out.

"Airstreams & Satellites" is the third full-length CD for the Mississippi-born, Memphis-reared and Los Angeles-based Starr. Although it has fewer sharp moments than the opening image hints, repeated listening reveals Starr's musical and lyrical depth.

It's a moody, often dark, yet ultimately hopeful collection of mostly midtempo songs that benefit from rock arrangements - guitars, bass and drums. Think singer-songwriter fare la Sheryl Crow, but without Crow's level of melodic variety and killer hooks. The best place to experience Starr, however, may be in concert. She came across much tougher and more incendiary when she opened for Steve Earle at the Pageant last year.

"Superhero" is the most rocking track. It celebrates an "I'll never grow up" attitude about childhood and performing: "I don't ever want to leave the stage/I don't ever want to leave my age/I am a superhero."

The title song offers another sharp image as Starr hopes for something more than friendship: "I found stars for you/among the airstreams and the satellites/I'll be falling soon/I hope that you'll be falling, too."