Rivers of Stars (Fall 2006) is the moody follow-up to the critically acclaimed Saturday Morning Sweet Shoppe (2001) and Two (2002). The atmosphere of Rivers of Stars is more nocturnal, autumnal, warm, and romantic than the previous albums. Lyrics tend toward themes of yearning, escape, loss, existential curiousity and woe, but usually carry at least a hint of optimism. The melodies and harmonies are rich, soaring and full of longing. Instrumentation is acoustic and electric guitar-centric, with acoustic piano appearing on most tracks, and a synth coming in and out on ocassion. The album begins with a few slow songs, builds up to a more perky middle section, and then slows again, ending with a psychedelic cosmic lullaby.
Perry again serves as producer, arranger, engineer, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and lyricist. This time around she gets some help with lyrics on 4 songs from Ohio State University professor/poet S.D. Lishan. Exquisite drummer Chris Searles (Shawn Colvin, David Garza) plays drums and percussion.
If you have not heard the songs from Perry's previous albums, no doubt you have unknowingly heard her instrumental music and/or songs in some of the dozens of national TV and radio commercials, PSAs and video games for which she has written, including Ikea, Pillsbury, Build-a-Bear Workshop, Sonic, WalMart, Schlotzsky's, The Humane Society, Kinko's, Consumer's Union, Haagan Dazs, Dreyer's, Folgers, Daisy Sour Cream, Hasbro, Mattel, THQ, Nickelodeon, Knowledge Adventure, Campaign to Protect America's Lands, Texas Lottery, Ohio Lottery, Texas Department of Health, Texas Department of Safety, Texas Department of Transportation, etc.