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Today's JEFFERSON STARSHIP is alive with the adventurous musical spirit that propelled the legendary band through the '70s, '80s, and beyond, as the world will soon hear when the band releases Mother of the Sun, their first new music since 2008. Songs include "It's About Time" and "Don't Be Sad Anymore," which were co-written with original Jefferson Starship/Jefferson Airplane members Grace Slick and Marty Balin, respectively. Original member Pete Sears also returns to play bass on three tracks.
- Product Dimensions : 4.88 x 5.55 x 0.39 inches; 0.71 Ounces
- Manufacturer : Secret Knock
- Original Release Date : 2020
- Date First Available : July 13, 2020
- Label : Secret Knock
- ASIN : B08CM5T8YN
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
#30,796 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- #16,025 in Rock (CDs & Vinyl)
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The post-Kantner line-up: Cathy Richardson and David Freiberg (vocals and guitar), Jude Gold (lead guitar) Chris Smith (keys) and Donny Baldwin (drums and backing vocals) are all in excellent form. In fact, for an 83-year-old Freiberg's vocals - he's the last remaining connection to Jefferson Airplane - are amazing.
Long-time Starshipper and remarkable bassist Pete Sears guests on bass on 3 tracks but is largely wasted on the opening stomper It's About Time. That doesn't stop it from being a ferocious rocker, based on some lyrics from Grace Slick who owns the JS name these days. Fortunately Sears gets rather more to do on Setting Sun on which Freiberg excels and Gold plays some tasty lead. It's the most vintage sounding track on the album and the echoes of Dino Valenti's Cowboy On The Run are deliberate. (Freiberg cut Cowboy with Quicksilver on 1975's SOLID SILVER and it was in the JS setlist for a while in the noughties.)
What Are We Waiting For is gorgeous but the 'extended version' album closer adds nothing to the shorter version (track 2). Runaway is well performed but unspectucular - the kind of thing the Jefferson-less Starship might have recorded with MIckey Thomas in one of his more twee moments. Don't Be Sad Anymore is Feiberg crooning lyrics Marty Balin wrote to Smith's piano. Freiberg acquits himself well but the whole thing is so maudlin it's the kind of Tony Bennett might have sung. (Then again Balin wrote Today from SURREALISTIC PILLOW with Bennett in mind...)
Gold's live solo Embryonic Journey is accomplished but...well, bizarre. Airplane guitarist Jorma Kaukonen wrote it and still plays it today as an acoustic folk-blues. Gold's effects laden version seeping with electricity just begs the question: why?
MOTHER is far from being a wasted opportunity. The good songs serve notice that the post-Kantner band is still a musical force to be reckoned with...but the less-engaging material indicates they perhaps should have waited to accumulate more of the stronger material.
Also of note is the package the CD comes in. In their heyday the Airplane were famous for interesting and innovative album covers, culminating in 1972's LONG JOHN SILVER which made up into a (stash) box. Well, MOTHER makes up into a box too. Given that it's unlikely to have the same kind of sales figures as LJS, someone is clearly thinking of the fans and making a considerable investment.
the original members in David Freiberg;although Grace Slick did contribute to writing one of the songs while
original bassist Pete Sears plays on a couple of others. The only complaint is that it really is an EP not a full
album as it only runs about 32 minutes and has 6 songs with the 7th song simply an extended version of a
previous track. R.I.P. Paul Kantner & Marty Balin