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Check out some of the ExMogul Music reviews from the archives, below.

I reviewed music on and off for about 15 years, while I took a break from singing and doing gigs.

Now I've flipped that around. And here's my band, SPEED LIMIT 70.

June 22, 2008

Kate Starr

I have a particular soft spot for girl-fronted bands from NYC since I used to be in one, and when I did the music publicity thing in the 90s I produced 2 girl-fronted band CDs called Go On Girl. But I digress. It's not about me, after all.

In my inbox was a request for a review by Kate Starr, a singer/songwriter/guitarist from Brooklyn, NY. I immediately was drawn by the opening energy of the first track on her myspace page, "Miss Liberty", which right away brought to mind the best of the 90s alternagrrrl music I think still holds up in the 00s: Hole, Liz Phair, L7, and that ilk. With distorto guitar, driving drumming, sing along pop sensibilities, this track begs to be played again and again. A stick in your head single that has no filler and gets right to the hook, "Miss Liberty" succeeds on all levels.

"Ache" follows and opens with the cello-like darkness of a mourning guitar, and the heavy bottom of a simple but very present bassline. Kate shows us her dreamy side on this track, with echo-y and almost Cranberries-like vocal sensibility. A sparse treatment works well on this track, uncluttered instrumentation lets the strength of the vocals and emotions shine through. Reminiscent of Annie Lennox's "put it all out there" vocal style, this song is extremely gripping when Kate lets her vocals soar while singing about the ache she feels.

"Walking in" has a more singer/songwriter vibe than the earlier two tracks, almost giving off a Chrissie Hynde meets Sara Bareilles meets Rickie Lee Jones feeling. The chord changes are interesting and go in unexpected places, and Kate's vocal delivery is talky in places - which makes the song very captivating and compelling.

"Say Something Beautiful" shows off the depth of Kate's voice and her ability to reach through the recorded medium and really connect emotionally with her material and, in turn, her listeners.

According to the information on her myspace page - Out of over 2,000 bands, Kate Starr was picked by Perry Farrell to be a top 4 finalist in Lollapalooza's Last Band Standing Competition.

Visit Kate's website at: