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Starflyer 59 - Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice (Cover Artwork)

Starflyer 59

Starflyer 59: Talking Voice Vs. Singing VoiceTalking Voice Vs. Singing Voice (2005)
Tooth & Nail Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


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

If the band that released Loveless never existed, in this day and age, a band being named My Bloody Valentine would conjure up thoughts of tight jeans, jet black hair, and bad lyrics. Thankfully, however, that band did exist, and have successfully influenced an entire new generation of bands. Upon l.
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If the band that released Loveless never existed, in this day and age, a band being named My Bloody Valentine would conjure up thoughts of tight jeans, jet black hair, and bad lyrics. Thankfully, however, that band did exist, and have successfully influenced an entire new generation of bands. Upon listening to Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice, it's quite obvious that Tooth & Nail's Starflyer 59 is one such band. Thirteen albums after the start of their career, it's plain to see that Starflyer 59 have become quite comfortable in their skin, shedding the classic rock stylings of I Am The Portuguese Blues for a return to their shoegazer sound.

Starflyer 59 succeeds just where My Bloody Valentine did in creating lush, moody soundscapes with a real dreary, hopeless sort of vocal approach. It's not only the vocals that help set such a mood, however, it's also the integration of the horns as found in "Easy Street." It evokes a sort of 1920's New York City back-alley feeling, if that makes sense to anyone in the world but me. The following track, "Good Sons," is one of the more bouncy, new wave-sounding tracks, almost reminiscent of early 80's-era Cure. Things generally slow down after that, depending on singer Jason Martin to guide the songs through his vocals, save the moments where Frank Lenz's drumming and the string arrangements make the mood. These arrangements are what allow such simple songs to have such depth.

Having only two members in a band does not usually make for the most dynamic or interesting arrangements, but Starflyer 59 make more than due with what they're given, and actually maintain interest throughout the album's duration. Some will contest the album does drag at points, and at the end of "A Good Living," those people do have somewhat of a case, as the strumming pattern grows tiresome rather quickly, but it's really the only instance where this is true. The melody and string patterns throughout the rest of this album feel just as at home as the drum machines and reverb found at other points on the album.

Though Talking Voice Vs. Singing Voice was my introduction to Starflyer 59, the few other albums I've heard since simply don't feel as complete. The hopeless melodies and pattering of the snare just fit. It wouldn't be to your benefit to write this off as simply another Tooth & Nail Christian band, because there's a lot beneath the surface here for you to like.

 

 
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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.
Anonymous (May 29, 2005)

"It's not only the vocals that help set such a mood, however, it's also the integration of the horns as found in "Easy Street." It evokes a sort of 1920's New York City back-alley feeling, if that makes sense to anyone in the world but me."

THAT'S IT!!! I've been trying to figure out what that song kept making me think of, and you nailed it for me.

nevermind the hatas. sf59 is an excellent band, easily one of the best pop acts out there.

thefineprint (May 23, 2005)

I've always tried so damn hard to like this band... it never seemed to work out. Their song Housewife Love Song is great though.

Anonymous (May 23, 2005)

This album is good, but not as good as "leave here a stranger." That album is fantastic, I really don't see how people don't enjoy it. It's well written, well produced indie-pop, with some 60's pop production.

Since no one else has said it yet:

OMFG TH1S I5N'T PUNX?!

-josh

Anonymous (May 21, 2005)

Why all the hatred and dislike people? Pitchfork may like them, that doesn't really mean anything.

SF59 are soft indie pop, and they do it very well. Jason Martin knows the true art of writing a pop song. I don't understand people who say they imitate Radiohead, because if you really listen to their music hard, you'll find that comment to be quite unjustified. Jason Martin and Thom Yorke are just totally different songwriters.

I guess SF59 is just one of those bands that if you get them, you really really like them, and understand their music, or you just don't get them at all.

I happen to be of the category that really really likes this band, and have listened to them for years. Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice is a fantastic record; I listened to it for a week straight after it came out.

If you're willing to take a chance on Starflyer, then I would say start with their album "Old." The first song, Underneath, just rocks the crap out of me.

maverick (May 21, 2005)

Why does Pitchfork like this band so much? It seems like such an arbitrary group to support. They've always bored me.

-Scott

gladimnotemo (May 20, 2005)

I remember reading about this band at the library in like, 1997, and printing out pictures in black and white. I thought they played bad techno. I guess not.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

I meant Mantronix. Ick.

-BSD

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

I had to review some of their CD's when I worked at a college radio station...so goddamn boring.

Anchors (May 20, 2005)

BSD, I soulseeked them and turned up nothing, I'll check them out if you can link me to some mp3's, or something of that sort.

Anonymous (May 20, 2005)

I can't believe this band is still around making shitty shit shit.

Listen to the Megatronix

-BSD

Inspection12e (May 20, 2005)

Hating Starflyer 59 since 2000.

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