Built on Squares by Starlight Mints

Starlight Mints | Built on Squares | Rating: 9.8/11 | Reviewed by: Jennifer F. |

Released: May 20, 2003

Built On Squares is an impressive album from the talented trio known as Starlight Mints. It’s not their first CD, and hopefully, not the last. Built On Squares starts off strong with cello and violin solos that give the first track, “Black Cat,” an old-fashioned feel. The uniqueness of this first track is extended throughout the entire album. There is nothing cookie-cutter about this disc, which is what makes it so respectable. 

The range of musical instruments used on the album include keyboards, cello, violin, trumpet, trombone, and vibraphone. There are also many other unique sounds packed into each song for a novel listening experience each spin. Every song is so fulfilling that I found myself reaching to repeat each track as they ended, but then the next song would start. Not wanting to stop this new song, I would end up just listening to the entire album all the way through multiple times. 

Some of my favorites are “Black Cat,” “Irene,” “Jack and the Squares,” and “Jimmy Cricket,” however, there are no weak links in this chain; all songs are well played. While the lyrics are not always discernable, the vocals are still enjoyable. The manner in which the lyrics are sung, not necessarily the words themselves, get stuck in your head. In, “Jack and the Squares,” for example, the song proceeds, “Oh, ah, Archibald / Sing me a song from the boulevard / Oh, ah, Jack Archibald / Sing me a song like a ding dong.” These lyrics written out don’t inspire any daring revelations, but listening to the song, these lyrics seem great. 

It’s not easy to articulate why this disc is so good, but it is. The amount of musical substance in each song will speak for itself. So, listen for yourself and you will enjoy Built on Squares.

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