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Modern Superstar - "Under My Skin" (CD)

Modern Superstar - "Under My Skin" CD cover image

"Under My Skin" track listing:

1. Hollywood Dirty (4:05)
2. She Likes Girls (3:28)
3. Txt U Gud'Bye (5:18)
4. Grow'n Old (4:30)
5. Love - Hate (3:38)
6. You (2:53)
7. Blue (4:00)
8. Devil's Playground (2:55)
9. Generation Star (3:10)
10. We All Die Young (4:07)

Reviewed by on September 2, 2011

"This album may not be something for the fans of heavier metal, but for those who like their songs with a heavy dose of acoustic guitar and melodic vocals, it's a definite win."

Combine two guys from hair metal bands Britny Fox and Bulletboys, pass out three guitars, and you’d expect to get an album that's a rerun of 1987. Such is not the case for Modern Superstar's "Under My Skin." With the exception of one or two tracks that have a Sunset Strip sound, the rest are slightly mellow, heavy acoustic versions of Britny Fox's hit "Dream On," but with a contemporary feel. This isn't truly a metal album, but it is a really good hard rock album.

Sure the album opens with the glam inspired track "Hollywood Dirty," but this is where the glam ends. Still, this tune manages to not sound dated and, with the exception of a few moments where Jamie Fletcher probably should have dropped his voice down an octave instead of going for the wails, it's a great piece.

"Txt U Gud’Bye" is probably the track that will become dated as technology evolves, but for our times it's relevant and ironic in how accurately it depicts today's relationships. Fletcher does double duty here, providing vocals and acoustic guitar. The rest of the band offers a melodic backdrop to this ballad.

"You" starts out with a great a capella intro, but soon the chugging guitars get your attention and you find yourself moving with the beat of the chorus. Though Ryche Green's drum work for Bulletboys never impressed me much, he shows here that he can get the job done pretty well.

The follow-up track "Blue" is pretty good too, though the backup vocals are a bit 70's cheese sounding. In general, the backup vocals are the only downfall to this otherwise solid album. They have a tendency to get covered up by the instruments, and none of the guys have strong voices. But that complaint is a minor flaw when you look at the whole picture.

The band wraps things up with a cover of Steelheart's "We All Die Young" that was made famous in the Mark Wahlberg film Rock Star. It's a good mix of acoustic, a big anthemic chorus, and an obligatory guitar solo. The only complaint is it doesn't last very long. I'm not sure this track should have been the album closer, but it's a good rendition and leaves listeners feeling electrified.

This album may not be something for the fans of heavier metal, but for those who like their songs with a heavy dose of acoustic guitar and melodic vocals, it's a definite win. And though the album is melodramatic in theme, the music remains upbeat.

Highs: The album as a whole is laced with good vocals, solid guitar work, and a modern hard rock feel.

Lows: "Generation Star" is the one flawed track, where Fletcher's otherwise melodic voice strains under wails that are too high for his mid-range voice.

Bottom line: With a debut album that's an example of melodic hard rock at its best, Modern Superstar is sure to get under your skin.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)