Knee Deep In The Hoopla is the debut album by Starship (the successor band of Jefferson Starship) and boy does it pack a punch,well for me it does. It is mostly remembered for its delightful singles 'We Built This City' and 'Sara' which both topped The Billboard Hot 100 at #1 shortly after their release.
Beginning this AOR infused record is 'We Built This City' which was a must play in my opinion as a kid. I still remember hearing it for the first time and my eyes lighting up at the sounds that came out of the speakers of my mothers cassette tape player. Although some may deem this as nothing more than a cheesy 80's wanna be pop rock anthem I thought it was gold back in the day. By the time I was 4 years old I had all the lyrics memorized. I have no shame in saying I still can sing them at the top of my lungs. Interesting enough like that of my memory the cassette tape player is still running strong. Can't say the same for the cassette tape beings it didn't make it past 1999 cause we wore it out.
As a kid I never understood the track 'Sara' because I was too young to know what real love was. Now as a young adult about to turn 25 years old I hear its message loud and clear. It's a song I have grown fond of and enjoy now that I'm older. I love the perfect meaningful balance that Mickey Thomas and Grace Slick provide here on vocals. They make magic together. Listeners will find themselves relating to the emotions and lyrics nicely.
'Tomorrow Doesn't Matter Tonight' is my favorite piece of all. Mickey Thomas really showcases what he is fully capable of as a vocalist with his totally underrated pipes. Just when you think things can't get any better they do. Craig Chaquico delivers a cool finger tapping dash of icing on the cake to make for a little electric guitar slice of heaven. Totally dig how things drop off towards the end into a choir like setting then comes roaring back to life.
'Rock Myself To Sleep' could easily pass for a demo and is mostly fronted by Grace Slick. There is just something so raw and overall crunchy about it that I like. I feel everyone in the band had fun on this. It's almost as if they were allowing the fans to see its okay to let loose after a hards day of work.
'Desperate Heart' is yet another song like that of 'Sara' but with a much heavier approach.The combination of the vocals and guitar are spot on. In all honesty it reminds me of a much later jam they would go on to write called 'The Burn' off their1989 album Love Among The Cannibals.
'Private Room' and 'Hearts Of The World' are songs I never gravitated to but they aren't bad at all. I just like a little more variety in my pieces and I felt these two sounded way too similar.
As this album comes to a close we have 'Before I Go' and 'Love Rusts' biding us a rather nice farewell.
'Before I Go' is a easy to follow and catchy gem that speaks on trying to help the one you care for see things from your point of view. It's about attempting one last stand to get through to them to change their thoughts or consider things a whole new way. I think we can all relate to the lyrics and emotions of feeling frustrated in a relationship either it be friendship or more.
'Love Rusts' is a beautiful art work portraying how over time love can run dry. It paints the details that go into the strain sometimes relationships can put on us. Each band member shines like a diamond on this piece and I adore how everything has its place. This is what music is all about in my opinion. The way Starship tells a story with its music is truly a splendid thing and I feel that is the very fabric of what is so wrong with the music industry today. Bravo!
This album brings back so many good memories. Knee Deep In The Hoopla got played often in my mothers little silver 1987 Subaru GL when we would go out and cruise around town. It was a record that stuck with me growing up and I'm still fond of. Knee Deep In The Hoopla is one of the several albums that inspired me as a child and shaped me into the musician that I am today.