Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Dive Bomberz / Falling Star

Jason Hoffman

Whatzup Features Writer

Published December 11, 2003

Heads Up! This article is 19 years old.

Mark Paul Smith and his band of merry minstrels are back with

Falling Star, a second collection of easy-on-the-ear

“middle-of-the-road” songs sure to please adult fans who aren’t

afraid to venture out of the suburbs to catch live music. As on their

self-titled debut, each of the 13 songs exudes professionalism, from

the mature songwriting to the playing to the production. As the kids

say, “It’s all good.”

It may be the time of the year, but the intro of the opening song,

“That Don’t Mean A Thing,” sounds especially Christmassy to me. The

song itself is an uptempo, humorous commentary on the worthlessness

of stuff with lyrics like “Your wife still looks pretty good / When

she’s dressed in black,” sung in Smith rocky, Randy Newman style.

Bassist John Morreale and drummer Thomas Cooley slip comfortably into

a deep pocket in such tunes as the Beatle-influenced, badboy romp of

“For A Good Time” and the grungy “LakeShore Drive.” Gritty guitars

add a bit of oomph to the mix of “Wishful Thinking,” a mid-tempo,

minor-key rocker that’s filled with tension, resulting in an

extremely passionate guitar solo that rides the song to a satisfying

conclusion, compliments of Kerry Marx.

Guest musicians add extra spice, such as Kenny Taylor on rhythm

guitar and Larry Pester grinding the organ on such songs as “Falling

Star” and “Jody Baby.” Nick Galucsy adds accordion to “Dream World,”

a touching ballad with classic Jimmy Buffet feel and sweet lyrics

such as “I thought I had everything I needed / Until I started

needing you.” “So Close To You” is a pleasant, slow dance song with

light guitar, an encouraging melody and plenty of piano, although

nowhere near the amount as found in “Hello Moscow,” where the piano

agreeably dominates the song while Victoria Williams (aka Diamond

Lil) sings backing vocals to such crowd-pleasing lines as “Rock and

roll is here to stay.”

Space doesn’t permit a full evaluation of each song, but suffice it

to say that, as on the first album, every note is in its proper place

for maximum hook, creating a modern update on the classic rock albums

of the 70s. In addition to the sonic perfection brought about by

Robin Jenny at Sweetwater Sound, the artwork is amazing, giving yet

another edge over the competition. If Mark Paul Smith and Co. keep

producing music of this caliber, their star will be anything but

falling. For more info click over to

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