CD Reviews

Album Review: Chocolate Starfish – The Beautiful Addiction

Artist: Chocolate Starfish
Title: The Beautiful Addiction
Reviewer: Andrew Treadwell

Chocolate Starfish are back with a new album “The Beautiful Addiction”. Recorded during the pandemic the album is produced by Tim Henwood. Thompson also reflects on the album being recorded during the pandemic “The one thing it gave us was time. We haven’t had the  opportunity to spend so much time on an album since our debut and it allowed us to get to the nitty gritty of each song, which has been a great plus for us”

The first single “What’s Up?” was originally by 4 Non Blondes has been part of the live staple for a while as Adam described in our interview “ It started out in the breakdown of You’re So Vain, as nothing more than an extended sing along on the last few Red Hot Summer Tours, but the more we did it, the bigger it became. It became its own beast. In the end we were doing the whole song and the crowds were loving it. So when the time came to do this record the band and I decided that if we did a really great job of it we would include it”.

The album has a great range of tracks like “Storm In A Teacup” which is the ultimate campfire singalong song, with many layers of vocals and harmonies weaving throughout, but telling the story about how everyone just needs to stop making something out of nothing. You go from that through to “Call Me Out” which will no doubt find its way to their live set. A great upbeat rocker just missing some audience participation. Some kick ass drumming from Darren Danielson on this one, as he does on the whole album. Well to be frank, the whole band delivered on this album.

“Someone’s Girl” tells the story of the one you want but can’t have. The one you need to be far away from, but no matter how hard you try they just draw you nearer, and know how to do it well. “Afterlife” takes me back to the debut with its vibe and the backing vocals weaving in and out. Love the way this song builds, as does “Valentino”, the prominence of Norm Falvo’s keys paired with some pounding bass work from John Nixon.

One of my favourite tracks on the album may take many by surprise. “Dolls House” is one where Thompson unabashedly shows his influences on his sleeve. It would fit on any classic Queen album and the atmospheric vocals throughout make it just an amazing piece of work. Then you have the title track which is Thompson’s push back to the “Kardashian Factor”, and the falsehoods and fake-ness of that world described in his lyrics, yet it’s got a great thumping drum beat, and would not be out of place in a big band scenario with some horns. 

“Burning Hollywood” was the final song written for the album and sees the singer draw inspiration from his own personal work in the indigenous community, to deliver his message on how we need to do more for equality across the world in all the different areas. Lyrics like “They’re burning Hollywood across The Great Divide. The stars against the stripes, they’re burning Hollywood tonight” make you realise that the only space between everyone is the one we create in our brains.

God And I Know” was originally written by the singer for his wedding, which he just played in passing for his fellow band members and they loved it and wanted to make it a Starfish song. And speaking of weddings I can see the song “3 Words” being played at many weddings, it’s a great acoustic number that will automatically make the listener reminisce for that special someone in their lives. 

Whether you have been familiar with the Starfish from their first releases or gotten into the band with Spider or even seeing them on their classic album shows or Red Hot Summer Tour, there will be more than one thing to fall in love with on this album. For those reading this that may not be familiar, go and give this album a spin, you won’t be disappointed

Tracklist

3 Words
Beautiful Addiction
Afterlife

Valentino
Dolls House
Burning Hollywood
What’s Up?
God And I Know
Call Me Out
Someone’s Girl
Storm In A Teacup

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