Album, Single and EP Reviews



  Car Guitar Star by Daniel Wylie

Car Guitar Star cover art

Artist: Daniel Wylie
Title: Car Guitar Star
Catalogue Number: Neon Tetra Records
Review Format: CD
Release Year: 2008

Since launching a solo career, and after leaving his Cosmic Rough Riders to ride it out without him, Daniel Wylie has consistently gathered rave critical reviews for his releases.  Using the old adage of "if it ain't broke…" here's another album of solidly written and well played sunshine pop with a few dark corners scattered here and there.
Boldly declaring on the opening song that "I Love America", Wylie details some hairy experiences, ("I got car jacked/while eating a big mac/driving my way across America"), in a punked up beach Boys fashion making for a great start. "I Can Fly" and "You Go There" are both very melodic rockers which maintain Wylie's reputation for fashioning early seventies influenced songs which would not seem out of place on albums by the likes of Big Star. More so on the title song where the line "I'll drive the car, play guitar, be my star, will you now" sounds so like the late Memphis band. And, just as Big Star were unjustly neglected in their time, Wylie here targets folk who download music free raising the spectre of musicians giving up eventually.

Not all of the album sparkles like the aforementioned songs. The lyrics of  "I'm a Machine" are clumsy at times. The instrumental "Grand Canyon Experience" uses trumpet in an attempt to conjure up the sort of musical vistas achieved by the likes of Calexico without managing to capture their swagger. However by the end of the album Wylie is back to what he does best with a great one-two knockout punch. "Keep it to Yourself" is an acoustically driven piece of sage advice.  "You're not the Only One" has a psychedelic haze with some Ringo type drum propulsion and swirling keyboards. If you listen very carefully it might even take you to the fifth dimension.
Review Date: August 11 2008