Star Anna and the Laughing Dogs
The Only Thing That Matters
From the opening lines of Star Anna’s second release The Only Thing That Matters, you can tell it’s going to be one hell of a bumpy ride. The colorful singer songwriter wears her heart on her sleeve and in song as she belts out charming number after charming number until the 12 tracks are through and you immediately want to press play again.
In the opening track “Sleep My Darling,” Star Anna sings acapella for 30 seconds about a lover she wants to hold in her arms until he leaves the world for peace. When the full band kicks in with its slow groove backed with a haunting guitar lead, this only adds fuel to the fire.
Rolling along we come to one of the album’s choice cuts with the alt-country rocker “Spinning My Wheels.” The bar room confessional has Star Anna drinking to forget but not drinking enough to feel free. Like a few other of her songs, “Spinning My Wheels” shows Anna’s ability to fall head over heels and then not give a shit when it falls apart.
The middle of the album is the heart with its glorious back-to-back tracks “For Now” and “Restless Water,” both of which could be considered for best song of the year.
Star Anna and her band the Laughing Dogs, who has the stand out guitar player Justin Davis, weave seamlessly between aching hearts over lost loves and the feeling of running away from it all throughout this 12-track release. Being a female singer-songwriter, it’s hard to separate yourself from the pack, but Anna and the boys do it just fine. They have the talent to flawlessly break your heart with alt-country gems and getting you rocking with a 1970s vibe. Anna’s lyrics come off like she is at risk with her honesty, but she is valiant in her efforts to dust herself off and get back on her feet again.