Go To Hell
Artist: Star Anna
Produced by: Spark & Shine
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
You might say that music is in Star Anna’s blood. Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, the singer known as Star Anna grew up listening to music – her mother was a music fan. Star Anna learned to play the drums by age eleven and, by high school, she was playing drums for a local punk rock band. By the age of sixteen, she had moved on to guitar, teaching herself how to play. Before long, she was writing her own songs. She has released a number of albums that have earned her critical acclaim as an artist, but her latest, Go To Hell, may be the one that makes her a rock and roll household name.
Her first album to not feature her former band, The Laughing Dogs, Go To Hell was created during an especially turbulent time in Star Anna’s life. According to Star Anna, “There were a lot of battles going on at the time this record was being made and a lot of betrayals that I was dealing with that had been woven into my personal life as well as the life of this record. We decided to keep moving forward and make this record. The title speaks for itself.”
One could say that this album had therapeutic value for the artist and, judging from the music on Go To Hell, one would probably be right. Star Anna bears her sole and expresses her emotional angst in a bluesy rock style reminiscent of Janis Joplin and Pink. There is definitely a central theme to this album. Each track expresses some sense of hell – the hell of obsession, of pain, of anguish, of debauchery. The entire album was terrific and the lyrics were often biting and heartfelt, but my favorite song on the album is the title track in which Star Anna vocalizes all the ways society uses the idea of Hell to keep people in line.
But the most important message to be found on this album is that there is hope – no matter what hell you’ve been through, you just have to pick yourself up again and move forward. It’s meant to inspire others. As Star Anna tells it, Go to Hell is about “balance. There is a lot of anger and loss, but there is also the other side of that. When something happens that strips you down to the bone, you can choose to only focus on the anger or you can also look around at the people who are still there, who are still trustworthy, loving and truly kind.”
Go to Hell is an amazing album with well-thought out lyrics, a bluesy rock feel and an artist that knows how to lay her emotions out on the line to get the meaning of the lyrics across to her listeners. I never heard of Star Anna before listening to Go to Hell, but I have to agree with Revolver’s Duff McKagan – Star Anna is the real deal and definitely a star on the rise!