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Old
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2003
Format: Audio CD
After the release of the underground masterpiece LHAS in 2001, the band had finally created their Pet Sounds. What direction would SF59 take on their new album? Jason Martin has got a little older in the nine years that SF59 has been around but the music and songwriting has gotten smarter. The album "Old" is even better than LHAS because unlike the sleepy hymns found on the previous album, "Old" stays up tempo and even rocks. The opener "Underneath", could the best rock song that the band has done. "Old" could have come out after "Americana" because it is more of a progressive rock album than the pop influenced latter releases. Jason Martin can write pop melodies in his sleep leaving most bands in the dust and creating a mood and atmosphere that can only be described as Starflyer 59. It could be the Pink Floyd influenced "Heart attack", that would have found a niche somewhere between the "Dark side" and "Wish you were here" era, or the awesome mellow goodness of "Passenger" as album song standouts but it's all good. Old is the combination of all Starflyer albums only hinting at what is to come. What are you waiting for? It's time you learned what the underground already knows, Starflyer 59 are at the top of the music hill. "Old" is brilliant and once again shows a band improving.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
What's that? Never heard of Starflyer 59? Wondering who all these reviewers are talking about, referencing albums you've never heard of? Well, sadly you're not alone. SF59 gets the award for the most unappreciated band. Starflyer is a rock band that incorporates influences from brit pop to shoegazer to indie noise rock. Most of their stuff has a slow to moderate tempo, with either big distortion or vintage clean tones on their guitars, and a hushed style of singing. Amazon/CDNow has samples you can listen to, so just go check them out. (They also rock out live.)
Starflyer fans have a habit of saying "this is the best Starflyer album ever!" as we will fight to defend our band, (while, as one critic put it, we secretly hope that we can mention Starflyer in casual conversation and have the other person know what we're talking about). Well, I honestly was a bit disappointed in the direction they took after 'Americana' (the 3rd album), but even as Jason Martin's new style improved, I still had mixed feelings to whether I liked the newer stuff or not. 'Leave Here A Stranger' (6th album) definitely was a major step forward, and I really enjoyed it, but I thought that the some of the synthesized orchestrations' poor quality hurt it more than it helped it.
Enter 'Old' (7th album). It has the songwriting style of 'LHAS', but improved. It re-embraces the rocking-out-ness of 'Americana', but is fresher-sounding. The production is very well done, with very nice sounding guitars, old-school synths, various strings, etc. The album has a consistancy to it, while still having catchy songs that stick in your head.
"This is the best Starflyer album ever." No, really, it is.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 18, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Starflyer fans know what this band is about and know what this album is about. For those of you stumbling upon this album from some sort of Amazon recommendation, this is the bands return to a more rock-oriented sound. Almost every song is saturated w/ throbbing guitar strums or pronounced harmonic picks that form the skeletons of the songs and pull you into the constant head-nobbing groove of this album (this is noteworthy because their previous 3 or 4 albums were more experimental, retro-esque, and probably not even considered "rock").
What separates Starflyer from the average annoying rock band out there, is A.) Starflyer has talent, B.) they come up w/ some strong melody lines for their guitars, strings, electronic what not, and they lay them on top of the throbbing guitars C.) Jason Martin has a unique voice that is both strong and soft and D.) they do this without bursting your eardrums. Their early albums played a lot w/ noise and distortion, in this the volume is turned down a notch. Underneath, The Lights On, The Kissing Song, Unbelievers, First Heart Attack are all strong songs, and that's half the album.
If there's one weakness of the album, is that in Underneath and Major Awards, there's this stinky backing vocals that comes out of nowhere halfway through the song, sounds like RuPaul bursting through one of those paper gates that cheerleaders hold up at pep rallies for the football team..."JUST WHEN YOU RE-UH-LIIIIZZZE", out of place and disturbing.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2006
Format: Audio CD
I have been an SF59 fan for years, from the Silver album to the I Win EP. They have musically evolved over the years. Old is by far one of the better albums that SF59 has made. Also, if you can find it, I highly recommend the Old Demo EP. It has alternate versions of The Sheriff, Old, and Underneath. If you like this album you will probably like their other albums: Everybody Makes Mistakes, Portuguese Blues, and The Fashion Focus. Long live SF59!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
I recently got into SF59 again after having been a huge fan of theirs from the Americana/The Fashion Focus era. As is the case with all of their albums, the true strength of Old lies in its brilliantly infectious melodies. However, more so than on Everybody Makes Mistakes or even Leave Here a Stranger, which featured some beautifully spacious-sounding orchestrations, Old's tracks are extremely well performed -- thanks in part to a slight lineup change that includes, I believe, the addition of Fold Zandura's drummer -- and it would not be a stretch to say that the instrumentals are a legitimate strong point of the record as well, far more so than on previous releases by the same group. Old would be an excellent introduction to Starflyer, not because it represents the sort of music they normally make (it doesn't), but because, like all of their more recent work (I'm excluding their first two albums, which have their own charm but do not constitute great music), it's delicious; and yet, as all SF59 fans have come to accept regarding any given SF59 album, it is merely a taste of the sweetness that is still to come.
Standout tracks include the opener "Underneath," which has singer Jason Martin going lower in pitch than he has done recently for a great dark, almost-sinister sound; "Loved Ones," which continues SF59's tradition of writing at least one truly great pop song for each record ("I Drive A Lot" on The Fashion Focus, both "No New Kinda Story" and "Going Places" on Everybody Makes Mistakes, "Things Like This Help Me" and "This I Don't Need" on Leave Here a Stranger); "Passengers," a guaranteed in-head-sticker; and "First Heart Attack," which is so morbidly humorous that while listening to it, one isn't sure whether to chuckle or grow increasingly solemn.
Really, though, every track on the album stands out on its own merit. This is a tremendous accomplishment by songwriter Jason Martin, and I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The ironically titled "Old" is actually something fresh and brand new from indie-rock vetrans Starflyer 59. Singer/guitarist/songwriter/founder Jason Martin and long-time bassist Jeff Cloud are joined by two new members, keyboardist Richard Swift and former Fold Zandura drummer Frank Lenz.
The cool thing about Starflyer 59 is their ability to branch out and do something different with every album they release. "Old" is no exception. Many of the tracks resemble such '80s alt-rock bands like Love and Rockets and The Sisters of Mercy. There are even some suprisingly startling moments such as the middle section of the album's title track.
All in all, the latest Starflyer disc is a fine achievement. The band keeps getting better and better with each album. Jason Martin continues to show greatness in his songwriting and guitar playing. His vocals also show confidence here as well, arguably more than on the bands previous efforts. The new band line-up is a winner as well. Surely, this is Starflyer 59's best effort to date. Run out, buy it and you'll see!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 8, 2006
Format: Audio CD
This album is solid all the way through. It is laid back and mellow, but also is driving and passionate. Jason Martin's vocals are full of a sort of resigned melancholy which come through even on lyrics that don't fully make sense. The songwriting is simplistic, but enjoyable, and the lyrics, while never being very flashy or attention-getting, are never cliche or trite. This is definitely one of the best albums I have, and is one of the few where I can listen to every song on it. If you've never heard SF59 before, I strongly recommend this album. It's one of their best, if not the best, and is very accessible shoegaze rock.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Starflyer for 8 years now, and I own all of their albums. And I must say this is there best album ever. SF59 is one of the few bands that keeps getting better and better. As soon as you think there lastest album is there best work they come out with a new album and beat it. "Old" is a must have, for every music fan. In my opinon this is the album of the year for 2003, but most of us know that the best music out there is never on MTV or the radio, and SF59 is one of the best and underated bands in music today.
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on August 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
seriously. this cd kicked me in the tookas. i've been a fan of starflyer since 9th grade and now i am in grad school way past my prime hipster period but i'll tell ya one thing: this is the record i waited and waited for starflyer to put out. maybe i'm selfish, but i feel like they took all my favorite things about all my favorite bands, aged, made me sad because they were old, threw together a last hurrah that kinda reminds me of graduating, and called it "Old". there are dolcimers, bells, fuzzy guitar and martin's "oh my gosh he's so hot" vocals. lhas does have a pet sounds feel i guess, but i wonder how many say that and actually own pet sounds. you can't really compare brian wilson to anything else. anyway, lhas is simpler. the songs roll as seperate tracks and the instrumentation is playful. "old" is truly a coming of age record. not that i know what that means. but they seem to be playing their instruments and singing their songs like they are playing for all their friends, family, and pets before they leave for a long time. please get this record. there's a song on it called "the kissing song". you'll totally get action.
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on May 23, 2003
Format: Audio CD
it could be easy for starflyer fans to go crazy an immediately
give this album a boastful five stars, however this album marks
several major changes in starflyer's progression. its been a
long time comming since the band produced an album with a heavy
guitar driven songs, and far less falsetto reaching notes in the
lyrical department. The theme of the songs seems to follow
the line of the last album of "we are old rockers, every day
growing older."
For some fans of the frist two albums, you will be pleased to
know that much more of the staright foreward rock is back. There
is much less of a poppy sound or theme to this album than many
of the past. While there may be a greater diversity of chord
changes and quirky side jaunts, there are far fewer solos in this
album. And we could go on and on about the various stylistic
changes, but they none the less add to the mystifing nature of this newer more drasticaly different sound. It just further proves that Martin and Cloud, kings of rock as they may be, still have a few tricks up thier sleeves.
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