Music, Print, Reviews June 2, 2023

The Burroughs – Honey Imastar Album Review

by Valerie Vampola

The Burroughs Don’t Settle For Singles In Their Second Full-Length Album 

Even with attention spans reduced to 15-second blurbs on TikTok and indie artists spacing out their music releases to one single at a time, The Burroughs had a story to tell. 

The result is The Burrough’s groovy new album, Honey Imastar. The full-length record follows a cinematic story of new adventure, conflict and hope through the lens of a space alien on Earth. The band kicks off with “Run,” describing our main character, Honey, and her mission. She faces loneliness in tracks such as “Alone” and emotional defeat in “Childhood Dreams” but eventually finds comfort and hope in “Open Up” and “Aurora (Good Morning).”

The entire concept and musical flow is similar to space-influenced albums such as A Funk Odyssey and Traveling Without Moving  by Jamiroquai while retaining that Parliament-Funkadelic sound they’ve been leaning into since 2020. “Automatic Systematic” has a lo-fi introduction into disco, and “New Walk” and “Harder to Believe” uses psychedelic synths and theatrical vocal styles. They even do a sonic call-back in “Don’t Fight The Groove,” drawing on Sly & The Family Stone, a big part of their 2018 album, Got To Feel

The Burroughs still find ways to be musically curious and try on new sounds. They incorporate a more romantic ‘70s sound that is very Barry White or Silk Sonic, coupling the horns with strings and woodwinds featured in “Don’t Fight the Groove” and “Out of Your Mind.”

Maybe audience attention spans are spacey, but the journey of Honey Imastar is a story worth experiencing in full. 

The band was happy to expound on the album’s concept in their own words. As saxophonist Briana Harris explains,, “The stories woven into this album encompass so many massive changes we’ve weathered together over the past several years as individuals and as friends IIn many ways it’s our most vulnerable work we’ve ever made.”Lead singer Johnny Burroughs adds, “Honey Imastar is a grandiose experiment for us as a band, but in reality it couldn’t be a more personal story. Many of the songs had been written during the first few months of my newborn daughter’s life. The story, songs and vision for the album were growing in parallel with my daughter experiencing the first year of her life. But equally as influential as my daughter’s growing up, was my own experience growing older and losing that childish spark that made life feel wondrous.”

Cover Art for The Burroughs’ newest album, Honey Imastar.