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Starflyer 59
Talking Voice VS. Singing Voice
Tooth And Nail Records
www.sf59.com


I remember hearing Starflyer 59 for the first time many, many years ago, and thinking how much their sound fell into line with much of the other music that I listened to at the time. Lush walls of guitars accompanied brilliant lyrics that were sometimes hard to distinguish in the maelstrom of sonic goodness, or noise, as my parents called it. The years have made subtle changes in the Starflyer sound, both with the maturing of the core players, as well as the coming and going of accompanying musicians. Jason Martin and Frank Lenz remain the core of the band, and their individual styles, as well as the collective sound of Starflyer have matured and softened over the years. Gone are the washes of guitars, slowly replaced with cleaner guitars and various instruments used sporadically throughout recordings to add ambience and beauty. Strings, Mellotron, trumpet, various keyboards and more have all found their way into the elegance of what has now become Starflyer 59.

Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice is a robust album that demonstrates how subtly and ably Lenz and Martin have come to craft songs. The unmistakable melodic guitar playing is still a key; chiming arpeggios and non-standard chord voicings are everywhere on these songs. Guitar parts interweave beautifully, keyboards fill tidy sonic niches, and drums anchor the whole symphony together very neatly. The songs themselves remain polished and lyrically fierce, despite the soft sounds. "Easy Street" is thick with e-bowed guitars, electric pianos, and moody chord changes. "Good Sons" is a perfect choice for single release, with it's catchy vocal chorus and near-disco bass line that perfectly compliments the crisp drumming of Lenz.

The songs on Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice are all moody and deep, while being extremely listenable and catchy. The songwriting prowess of Martin is evident, as is the musical chemistry between him and Lenz. The production quality is excellent, the songs are groovy and interesting, the lyrics full of personality and depth. Taking their cues from some of rock's greatest, Starflyer 59 has once again created a record full of original songs that are unique amidst the current climate in music, setting themselves apart as a part of that elite group of musicians making music worth taking note of. These songs won't become mired in the mud of mainstream rock, but will most certainly stand the test of time.

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:
1. The Contest Completed
2. Easy Street
3. Good Sons
4. A Lists Go On
5. Night Life
6. A Good Living
7. Softness, Goodness
8. Something Evil
9. The Longest Line


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Mike Doughty



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