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START (Buy CDs by this artist)
Look Around (Fresh Sounds) 1983

Lawrence, Kansas has been the site of interesting commingling of young bands and aging literati. Start's album boasts the presence of Allen Ginsberg, who wrote the lyrics for and sings (a bizarre treat) one number. Look Around is low-key but charming — '60s Midwest pop given an '80s sensibility. Some of the songs are overtly socio-political (especially Ginsberg's), but the sound is so authentically old-fashioned you half expect the rhetoric to be anti-Nixon.

[Ira Robbins]