Superstar Runner's Heritage/Lineage/Hand-Me Downs/Scars (Your Birthmarks Do Not Bother Me)

By My Nguyen,

Almost like letters written by a father to his unborn child, the tracks off Superstar Runner’s Heritage/Lineage/Hand-Me Downs/Scars (Your Birthmarks Do Not Bother Me) are rendered with the same love and care as someone who carries an unblemished optimism for the future they possess.

Similar to the long titles that are often a mouthful to repeat, Superstar Runner, mainly composed of Ben Johnson, is driven by an enthusiasm that is hard to authenticate. His didactic piano acoustics and guitar-strumming numbers come together in some binding tracks that listeners will find themselves connecting with in a deep sense.

The Missouri-based artist takes the punk aesthetic of the confessional and assembles it into his gift for voicing message driven by emotional lyrics. The sentimentalism is sometimes a little hard to take in, but though evidently raw, these songs are also poignantly strong, filled with impressionable moments that will either uplift or make you think.

There’s also a campfire feel, and a sing-along aspect to these tracks. Filled with little heart-warming wisdom and an existentialism that is rarely if ever exercised in today's pop music, Johnson communicates naivety through the ripe, child-like innocence in his music.This is partly because Johnson is not afraid to wear his heart on his sleeve. He shows the world how he harnesses an outrageous optimism that is nearly uncontainable.

Memorable tracks packed with this infectious sense include "Growing Pain," a powerful and upbeat acoustic number that gives a hopeful slant on life; "Cribs and Kids," another message-driven track that resounds in its melodic appeal. The melody comes together with great harmonies to produce a more polished sound. In "Something Worth Talking About," Johnson speaks loudly about the same emotions expressed throughout this album that somehow shine even more in this extremely intimate track.

Superstar Runner released Heritage/Lineage/Hand-Me Downs/Scars (Your Birthmarks Do Not Bother Me) in February 2012. Be sure you check out the artists’ Bandcamp page here to preview some of the noteworthy tracks that were just mentioned.

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