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With their sights set on the stars, the Swedish hard rock-band Starmen returns with their fourth album - ‘Starmenized‘. After unexpectedly debuting with two records in 2020 and following up with another album in 2021, the guys are now back with a truly exciting sequel. Among the album's cavalcade of hits, the melodic hardrock takes the front seat, with self-written songs that are hard to resist, graphically packaged in a retro comic book style with a running theme that oozes superheroes and rock stars.
When the Swedish hard rock band Starmen released their third album ‘By the Grace of Rock 'n' Roll‘ in 2021, people around the world began to seriously notice this band. In addition to an honorable second place in Sweden Rock Magazine's Juryn (The Jury), words of praise poured in from the USA, South America, Australia, Japan and Europe. Inspiring words, which surely helped the band in the studio, because on ‘Starmenized‘ the motivation is at its peak.
In the same style as the rock heroes from the -70s and -80s, the band goes all the way in terms of image with full make-up and accompanying stage clothes, where each member has their own color. Of course, you can see nods to the bands from this era in appearance and musical style, but that's where the similarities end. Starmen writes their own songs and are not afraid to bring the music of previous decades into the present.
Also on this album, all members participate on lead vocals, although it is mostly handled by Red Starman aka Kristian Hermanson (ex-Friends, The Poodles etc) and also a large part of the bassist Gold Starman aka Jonatan Samuelsson (Narnia).
The album opens with a fast beat by the band's new drummer Silver Starman aka John Hector in the song ‘Liar‘, where Purple Starman aka Andreas Lindgren also gets to show his skills as a guitar hero. A real flying start that shows a hungry band, ready for new adventures. The song is released as a single and video, just like the second track: ‘Rockstar‘, a sing-along-friendly mid-tempo song where Gold takes over the lead vocals.
Another single and video song is, in addition to the album's closing title track ‘Starmenized‘ - where all members share the lead vocals in the verses, is the song ‘Radioactive‘, which shows what a hit machine Red is with his sense for lyrics, melody and arrangement. Something that is also clearly noticeable in ‘Tears Never Dry‘, which really feels like a future Starmen classic.
Through the album's only ballad ‘I Die For You‘ via the slightly darker ‘Black Moon Rising‘ and the uptempo song ‘Just A Stranger‘, we land in the 80s-scented AOR songs ‘Renegade Jenny‘, written by the duo Purple and Gold and really melodious ‘Word Up (We All Bleed Red)‘, with Red and Gold sharing lead vocals.
In summary, Starmen offers a real hit cavalcade of melodic hardrock, where they have carefully sifted out ten golden nuggets from the thirty or so songs they had to choose from. The album has a fitting graphic theme that consistently revolves around superheroes and rock stars in a retro comic book style.
Out of the album's 10 tracks, Starmen release at least 8 videos! The level of ambition is at its peak and there are also rumors that the band is preparing to follow up the album live.
03. Tears Never Dry
04. I Die For You
06. Black Moon Rising
07. Renegade Jenny
08. Just a Stranger
09. Word Up (We All Bleed Red)
Starmenized‘ is produced by Kristian Hermanson and released via the record company Melodic Passion Records in collaboration with Sound Pollution Distribution September 8, 2023.
Starman Red (Kristian Hermanson): Lead vocals, rhythm guitar
Starman Gold (Jonatan Samuelsson): Bass, vocals
Starman Purple (Andreas Lindgren): Lead guitar, vocals
Starman Silver (John Hector): Drums, vocals