Every so often, an older album will cross our desks here at the Sea, and we'll review it because we're nice guys. In this case, the latecomer is Mirror of the Stars, the 2001 release by a band that got its start back in the late Sixties by blending soul and R&B influences like Bo Diddley, B.B. King and the Yardbirds. As time went on, Clear Blue Sky played under different names with the likes of Janis Joplin and Big Brother & The Holding Company, Free and Gentle Giant. Gradually, the band's sound evolved. Today, the core quartet of three men and one woman in Clear Blue Sky plays music that recalls Rush with a psychedelic edge, complete with Geddy Lee-style vocals from John Simms.
This is an eclectic and sprawling album, thick with multiple layers of psych, space, blues and garage rock. There's no question that these musicians are outstanding — hell, they've been playing this game long enough — and their jam sessions are impressive. Still, this album really goes nowhere. Similar to many Rush tunes, the 12 songs here meld into one another and fail to distinguish themselves properly, either because of the vocal stylings or the plodding musical direction. Nice effort, but I'll pass.