Starbelly’s “Mother Of Pearl”: A Turn Of The Century Classic
As I noted the other day, I recently contributed a piece on the expanded version of the second re-release of Starbelly’s 1998 Lemonfresh to a relatively new site call The Cultural Purveyor. I guess my job there is to spread the word about resurrected, lost Powerpop classics since I wrote previously on that site about the re-released and expanded version of Cotton Mather’s 1994 masterpiece, Kontiki.
I digress, although Starbelly has become a mainstay on my morning and afternoon commutes to and from work. That brings me to the track that first drew my attention to the band. That would be the original version of “Mother Of Pearl,” the re-recording of which appeared on the band’s second long-player, 2002’s Everyday And Then Some.
On its own, the “official album” version of “Mother Of Pearl” stands out as a stellar track, one of the best on Everyday. The real brilliance, though, is in the original version song, recorded with the band’s initial three-piece line-up. Its occasionally muffled vocals set against a strong, melodic chorus, ringing guitars, and typically beautiful harmonies will lodge the track firmly in your subconscious for days. If that’s not enough, the subtle hip-hop rhythm and long fade-out with mysterious whispers gives the whole thing an American gothic feel, an effect that is enhanced further by the song’s official video:
The original version of “Mother Of Pearl” is available on Not Lame’s Six Years of Powerpop, which can still be purchased digitally or streamed on services such as Rhapsody. Its easily in my Top 40 of all-time.
I’ve recently stumbled onto your great blog. I really like your posts, especially in Cotton Matther and Starbelly. Have you heard the new Cliff Hillis solo album, “dream good”? It’s one of the best albums of the year in my opinion. Will you be posting about your favs of 2012? I’d be interested in seeing that.
Thank you very much for the compliment.
I have listened to “Dream Good” several times now. It could be the single best 2012 release I have heard. There is nothing even approaching a weak track in the collection.
A best of 2012 is a good idea. In prior times, I always focused my listening on recent releases. Now, though, I have a more long-term orientation, so a lot of what I have been hearing might not be so much “2012.” Maybe a “Best of what I heard in 2012” could work well.
I really like your blog, especially posts on Starbelly and Cotton Mather. Have you heard new Cliff Hillis solo album Dream Good? It’s one of the best of the year in my opinion. Will you be posting on your favs of 2012? I’d be interested to read that. Keep up the strong work.