Big Star

In Space

Big Star struggled through three underappreciated albums with utter sincerity and geeky self-consciousness, a combination that would come to define power pop. Frontman Alex Chilton, with drummer Jody Stephens and two surely adoring members of the Posies, began touring again as Big Star 10 years ago. At long last, Chilton has decided to risk another Big Star studio album, and the effort is worthy of the name. Some may argue that In Space doesn’t sound like a true Big Star release, but the band’s evolution has been so rapid that it’s hard to say. Chilton’s love for the Kinks and the Beach Boys is ever present; the depressiveness of Third/Sister Lovers is absent. Thankfully, In Space doesn’t suffer from trying to sound as if it was recorded in the early ’70s. In fact, it’s interesting how contemporary the album sounds while still following the course that Big Star laid out in its trailblazing heyday.