Northstar - Pollyanna (Cover Artwork)


Northstar: PollyannaPollyanna (2004)
Triple Crown Records

Reviewer Rating: 3
User Rating:

Contributed by: maverickScott
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Northstar's 2002 debut Is This Thing Loaded? was a CD packed with potential but ripe with disappointment at almost every turn. The band's poppy-rock sound, reminiscent of former labelmates Brand New, was enjoyable enough in small spurts, but too many of the songs felt too disjointed, and to be fran.
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Northstar's 2002 debut Is This Thing Loaded? was a CD packed with potential but ripe with disappointment at almost every turn. The band's poppy-rock sound, reminiscent of former labelmates Brand New, was enjoyable enough in small spurts, but too many of the songs felt too disjointed, and to be frank, the drumming was absolutely terrible. Still, I could hear that the band was learning, and after seeing them live I was convinced that something good is happening here, they just hadn't captured it yet.

With Pollyanna, Northstar finds themselves still reaching for that brass ring, but they're inching closer and closer this time.

Right from the opening salvo of "For Members Only" followed by the title track, you know the band has taken a decidedly poppier stance than before. The guitar riff in "Pollyanna" is a little too close to New Found Glory's "My Friends Over You" for comfort, but it just shows the direction the band is aiming for. As a plus, they do the pop-punk stuff well, as evidenced with the album's dynamite standout "To My Better Angel" [an early version of which appeared on the Beer: The Movie soundtrack last summer]. If Triple Crown was smart, they'd get a video for this track to FUSE as soon as possible, as it would be absolutely huge.

I'm still amazed as each song passes at just how lazily Nick Torres sings. It's almost jazzy in a way, as he lackadaisically croons lines like "you move me like I've got new feet" over driving guitars. I get the feeling he was the kid in high school who got yelled at for slouching in his desk. It's a blessing and a curse - I'd recognize Torres' voice anywhere, but it also prevents some of the more snappy tracks on the disc to really stand out vocally, thus becoming forgettable.

And that is Pollyanna's biggest fault - just a little too much of it is forgettable. There are so many bands doing this sound right now [and even more using the oh-so-cliche screaming, something that Northstar wisely avoids] that it takes a miracle to get people to stand up and take notice of you. Northstar hasn't wished upon the right star yet, but give them another album or so and you could definitely see some magic happen.

The Pornographer's Daughter
For Members Only


People who liked this also liked:
Brand New - Deja EntenduBrand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeAlkaline Trio - From Here To InfirmaryThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!mewithoutYou - Brother, SisterWeezer - PinkertonAlkaline Trio - Maybe I'll Catch FireInterpol - Turn on the Bright LightsA Wilhelm Scream - A Wilhelm Scream [12 inch]The Lawrence Arms - The Greatest Story Ever Told

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
xmystax (May 24, 2008)

fuck this guys review this is awesome r.i.p.

dumhed01 (May 25, 2006)

Adam Lazzarra wishes he was the singer of northstar..
That being said..
I love this cd..

Anonymous (April 5, 2006)

Alright I understated.

I love Northstar will all my heart.
Cassino too.
Yes, they are original.



Anonymous (April 5, 2006)

Brand New is definalty a talented band.


To say that Deja Entendu will change your life? I've listened to that Cd at least 100 times over the years. My life is yet to be changed. If it changed YOUR life, maybe you should consider making a few goals for yourself.

Aside from my spite for people that make such idiotic comments, I love Northstar and always will. Although I must say that I like "Is This Thing Loaded?" much better than "Pollyanna."


Anonymous (April 4, 2006)

that anonymous person is bang on the money. Good on them and all you people that drown in the incomparable wisdom of nick torres should drown as you are undeserving. Northstar are the kings of the playground. As are cassino.

Anonymous (February 19, 2006)

ok all you idiots who say northstar suck you probably some loser who likes smashing his face off of a stage and breaking all your teeth in just to prove not only how stupid you are how ugly you are. i for one can't stand ignorance. Read a goddamn book like Brave new World or Uylsses before you bring out these anti-every-goddamn-thing-that-doesnt-suck attitudes you guys are just as cliche as the emo-kids north star is'nt emo if you listen to the goddamn lyrics its not anything but genius screw these damn genere shit i'm not gay but i'd f*ck nick i really would just because he pinpoints the epitamy of my life. A worthless meaningless droll of bullshit thats all about getting laid and how girls leave addicts. I'm sure you could put a emo-label on f*cking led zepplin too because everyone of there songs says babe in it for chirst sake. im me if you doubt i am intelligent and i cant prove your moronic ideals wrong. Northstar speaks my ideals. I bleed i cry i hate. i could give 2 shits less about some song that talks about getting f*cked up on drugs and sh*t i lived the whole drugs thing i grew out of it i grew into northstar and some other bands that i could care less to spout off. I admit there guitar bass etc isnt the most defining music but they take the simpelest crap and turn it into genius.
-When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy agains him- Jonathan Swift... sn- Beny B245

Rain (December 9, 2005)

that was just the editoral opinion hmm i cant tell u my opinion on him because id get kicked off...Northstar is legendary.... there will never be another band like them they created there own style and said Fuc whats in...well iv been there since the begining of northstar... and now im here with Cassino

Anonymous (October 18, 2005)

Before I say anything about Northstar and their new album, let me tell all of you something who are complaining and whining and bitching at the journalist/critic who wrote this piece. It's called an editorial. It's an opinion. Just because they're part of the media doesn't mean that theirs are wrong, so stop complaining once they say one sour thing about a band you like. I'm sure there's good along with the bad. And even if there isn't, suck it up, not everyone feels the same way you do.

Now on to Northstar & Polyanna...

I bought the new cd, and I find most of the songs actually really catchy. In one song they sound like Alkaline Trio mixed with some Taking Back Sunday and a little of Motion City Soundtrack, and that's not a bad thing at all. Yeah, some of Nick's vocals are the same, but the beat and rhythm isn't. Do you expect him to have a different voice in every song? I found Two Zero Two and The Pornographer's Daughter simply addiction because of the acoustics in Two Zero Two and the lyrics and beat in The Pornographer's Daughter. All in all, I love the album and I do think that yes, they are a little like all the other bands out there, but that doesn't make them any less amazing and full of talent.

nuthinBUTdisastor (January 11, 2005)

nick torres's vocalizations are awesome ive never heard any one like him, fucking awaesome they just need to find wat they really want to sound like because i dont think they should head into "black hole" like simple plan and good charollete.

Anonymous (July 25, 2004)

i bought northstars first cd and fell inlove with it. i think northstar is an awsome band, and definetly my favorite. i just listend to The Pornagrapher's Daughter, and i can tell from that one song so far, that the new album is going to be even better then the first, i am definetly buying it. NORTHSTAR IS THE SHIT!!!

Anonymous (July 16, 2004)

i like. i am a huge tbs fan. i picked up the cd because there was a huge sign at best buy that said: if you like taking back sunday you'll like northstar. and it was right. they sound exactly like taking back sunday, especially in the first 2 tracks.
that's both good and bad...
but, congrats to the guys, they put together a good album.

Anonymous (July 11, 2004)

This album is awesome! I mean the songs, the sound, the quality, they are all awesome! if ur still wishy washy just buy the damn cd! i promise u'll love it as soon as u put it in ur cd player!

Anonymous (June 14, 2004)

hm.. well first off, all of the comments seem to be done by the same person. i really think a 14 year old went comment crazy and just sat around thinking of really cool things to say.

i do like the cd though. its not as rough as "is this thing loaded?" but atleast they broke away from taking back sundays lyrics. because the first album pretty much coppied them all, then paraphrased them.

good things could be in store for this band, but i could also see them slipping from their a kinda poppy punk to the chasm of full on New Found Glory, SImple Plan ROCKS black hole.

time will tell. be open, pick up a copy. say what you think without regards to the facade the "scene" makes people cower behind.

Anonymous (June 10, 2004)

northstar is amazing...if you know anything about music and all and abouot the band you would know that they are extremely talented...theyre lyircs are awesome and songs like taker not a giver make anyone start singing and getting into the music...so if u dont like northstar...ur an idiot

Anonymous (May 30, 2004)

Nick's voice is very, "let's have sex," I love it. I wish i could marry him and his voice :)

Anonymous (May 18, 2004)

Northstar fuckin rocks
you obvioulsy dont know anything about music if you dont think so
Northstar Owns!!

Anonymous (May 17, 2004)

the only people having anything to say positive about this band have to either be 13 year old girls or the triple crown street team.

this is fucking garbage.

Anonymous (May 14, 2004)

Who ever rated this album didnt listen to it enough i guess because if you listen to it more than once ( like the guy that reviewed it) then you would realize its one kick ass cd! I dont think they are aiming for the "more pop" stuff either. so screw you Mr review man.

Anonymous (May 14, 2004)

that review was horrible

Anonymous (April 29, 2004)

If you are wishy-washy about Northstar go SEE THEM LIVE and then you will be convinced. I know everyone says that about bands but in this case it is absolutely true. Just go.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

pretty good, sounds like taking back sunday pretty much. Kinda sounds like Bayside too, which is where the reviewer gets the 'lazy singing' thing, i agree, the singer seems to be too soft and not energetic enough at times.

Anonymous (April 26, 2004)

This record rocks. I thought it was so-so at first, but now I'm totally addicted.

Anonymous (April 26, 2004)

Never heard of this band. I thought it was for Northern State. Since I don't know this band I will just give my rating for Northern State.

Sara(no h)

FortyMinutesWest (April 25, 2004)

No new genre here, "pussrock" has been around for years.

Anonymous (April 25, 2004)

how lazily nick torres sings? wow, man. you're a fucking cunt face that doesn't know anything about style. and their real people. none of this product by society. personly, i think they have created a totally new genre of music. you people make me sick. go see them live, it will change your mind.

Anonymous (April 24, 2004)

"Northstar is the bee's knees live. I can't wait to see them again with Northstar."

Ok .... ok, you'll have to explain this one to me. You ... AND NORTHSTAR ... are going to go see Northstar live. And you can't wait. Well that's just dandy.


Anonymous (April 23, 2004)

So dance to some broken chords
With broken knees
Through open doors
And save me with a microphone
Give me something so I can go home

Don’t you have a lesson for me?

What's wrong with Northstar again? What are you, on crack? Christ. To hell with reviews and opinionated people.

Anonymous (April 23, 2004)

dude, this band fuckin sucks.

Anonymous (April 23, 2004)

northstar owns the title of a piece of shit band

Anonymous (April 23, 2004)

northstar owns

Anonymous (April 22, 2004)

fuck all you.northstar rules

Anonymous (April 22, 2004)


Anonymous (April 22, 2004)

"weak (A.W.E.S.O.M.O robot voice)"

hahaha! massive kudos. "super weak..."

Anonymous (April 22, 2004)

nothing against northstar or brand new, but everything against anthems.

Anonymous (April 21, 2004)

i was at at a Northstar concert once when i saw the inscription H.M. (short for Hugo Montero)right after i saw this Northstar started bleeding... true story man

Anonymous (April 21, 2004)

tell all the english boys you meet~

Jesse (April 21, 2004)

I couldn't agree more with Forty.

Anonymous (April 21, 2004)

These guys are stupid

Anonymous (April 21, 2004)

I went to see Notrhstar at their album release, at Vintage Vinyl and i just have to say they were amazing. Brand New's Deja Entendu is an album was my anthem of last summer and Northstarâ??s Pollyanna will be the anthem of this summer.

FortyMinutesWest (April 21, 2004)

"Deja will be a record to play for your kids. "

So what are you saying? In the future Brand New CDs will replace grounding as the #1 punishment for children?

"Billy, I told you to be in by 11! Now listen to Brand New!"

"But mom...can't you just hit me instead!?"

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

"deja entendu will change your life"

if you're that easily influenced, please just kill yourself

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

weak (A.W.E.S.O.M.O robot voice)

SethCohen (April 20, 2004)

Northstar is the bee's knees live. I can't wait to see them again with Northstar. On a side note, they are the first band in their genre I 've seen in awhile, where at least one of them wasn't wearing Diesel jeans...

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

Faultlines played with this band on our first tour in a basement in Auburn, Alabama. Someone told me they were on Triple Crown and I was convinced they were lying. Guess I got showed.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

Fist of the Northstar is fucking awesome indeed.


Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

they rule...album rules...get it

Icapped2pac (April 20, 2004)

I checked this out, and like their first album, it's decent, but pretty much all of it is forgettable to me.

On a side note, I got the Name Taken CD in the mail yesterday. Let me preface this by saying I am NOT a street team dick-rider, but that's a pretty damn good album. I really think most anybody who likes this northstar album could get into it. Like NS, it's not much new as far as styles, but the songs get stuck in your head (in a good way, not the "Get Ur Freak On" needles-in-my-brain way) if you give it a chance. I'm betting whoever reviews it on this site will tear it up for being derivative, but as long as the review isnt done by Scott or Greendase, you can count on pretty much every band with a slightly emo-pop-punk sound to get dismissed right off the bat. So, despite the awful band name, don't sleep on Name Taken.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

What are you people talking about?
"Deja will be a record to play for your kids."- What are you on acid? Wow, you people need to throw away your computer and listen to other music. I like Brand New, don't get me wrong, and Deja Entendu is a great album, but no one will be talking about it in a year from now, let alone 20 when people have kids.
I'm sorry, Brand New are a great band and they will be around for a long time I'm sure, but they are not gods and they don't change normal people's lives

adam (April 20, 2004)

Don't get me wrong, I wasn't making a comparison between Northstar (whom I've never even hard) and Brand New. I just don't seem to get the same "genius" read on that record as you obviously do... but hey, it seems to make you happy so all the power to you.


sickboi (April 20, 2004)

Tell your kids that shitty record is the reason you are breathing.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

I really hate pulling a jason tate and blowing bands or records up to be more than they are, but I can't help it. There is nothing decent about Deja Entendu. It is a masterpiece that shows off a band that defines growing up and maturing. It's got everything from the most real lyrics about sex I've ever heard (Sic Transit Gloria..) to honesty about his grandfather. Deja Entendu is real life. And Jesse Lacey is a genius. He always has been, people just didn't start to notice until now.

When Northstar puts out a masterpiece, let me know. I never said the group wasn't talented. But to say they're better than Brand New? Or Deja Entendu? Please. Deja will be a record to play for your kids. Northstar has yet to do something of that magnitude.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

Is This Thing Loaded? was a great cd. One of my recent favorites.

I just bought this one and am not sure what to think yet. Their approach has definately changed. Much more simplistic song structure and much more "poppy."

I love this dude's voice though so I'm sure I'll be listening to this record all summer.

adam (April 20, 2004)

"deja entendu will change your life"

Oh come on now, it's a decent album for it's genre but let's not inflate it with that much hyperbole.


Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

northstar's first release was SHIT compared to anything brand new has done.

deja entendu will change your life. i don't think northstar can claim the same.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

northstar's first release is better than anything brand new or taking back sunday are doing now.

Anonymous (April 20, 2004)

i really liked "Is This Thing Loaded?" And to be honest, if this one is anywhere near as good, I'll be happily listening to it all summer long. Seriously, there were some relatively weak tracks on that album, but the ones that stood out really stood out as every time they came on in my car, I suddenly found myself doing speeds that would get me thrown in jail. score is for their prior effort.

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