Track Review: Danny Starr: Plastic Magic

‘Sounding in places like a Santana influenced song about botox it’s absolute genius!’

Intro to Danny Starr
Never sticking to one style influence and always providing unpredictable lyricism, London based singer songwriter Danny Starr certainly stands out among
many of today’s new artists. Delivering his 4 track EP ‘Darling’ back in 2016, it highlighted just how versatile his musicality is. No wonder then that he has gained support from BBC Introducing and Amazing Radio. However, proving this even more, the tracks that followed – including the phenomenal Tom Grennan-eqsue ‘Elixir’ – truly showcased what Danny has to give. Therefore, it’s little surprise that his latest track ‘Plastic Magic’ sees him take his musical flexibility to the next level.

Track Review
Giving us an expectedly bossa-nova style introduction with the use of guiro, woodblock and bass drum, there is an immediate sense of contrasting influences. Percussion centred, it’s light and joyous but joined by acoustic guitar chords, it feels texturally light too. And this is exactly the point. Musically setting out the lighthearted, if not humorous nature of the track, it provides the most appropriate of starting points.

Showcasing his knack for unexpected lyricism from the start, following the minimal introduction, the opening title led line of ‘Plastic magic, numbs the panic’ joins in. With the instrumental centre being as it is, the first of many musical juxtapositions occurs. No way would you expect a lyric such as that to follow. Nor would you expect it work with the latin nature of the accompaniment. But it just does. In fact it adds to the whole feel and moving through further tongue-in-cheek lyricism we reach the chorus where it gets even stronger.

Shifting in vocal tone, texture and production techniques, the more acoustic nature of the verse is joined by additional instrumentation, reverbs and harmonics. Initially demonstrated through subtly wah-affected electric guitar, the sound begins its transformation while the line ‘Botulinum toxin, lying under her skin, absorbing the poison, keeping her young’ ensures the lyrics do likewise. I mean honestly, when was the last time you heard a line even close to that? Combined with the developing accompaniment of interlocking guitar lines and vocal harmonies, it almost sounds like a Santana inspired song about botox!

Returning to the earlier atmosphere, but with a hint of what has just been, the second verse contains enough content to sound fresh but familiar. There is no doubting though that the lyrics are where the heart of the track’s success lies. Continually featuring references to lifestyle – with the line of ‘Is it injection or ointment this time?’ being truly genius – you really have to applaud the brazen delivery. However, just as you are recovering from this, you find yourself joining with Danny to sing the effortlessly catchy chorus for the second time.

While you could quite happily just keep sing those lyrics, our enjoyment of them is suddenly paused to reveal an entirely stripped back bridge. Drawing our attention right to the lyricism, but showcasing it in a much more reflective way, the sparser texture ensures the words are front and centre. Standing out even more, they are the most shamelessly smile inducing of all. I won’t share why – for that you’ll have to listen – but lets just say that this automatic reaction prior to a final chorus is completely ironic!

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Danny Starr is part of Listen to Discover’s #FridayFindsFeaturedArtist series which you can keep up to date with on Twitter and Facebook.

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