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So Long Astoria

4.2 out of 5 stars 303 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 4, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Amazon.com

With a handful of indie releases and a few hectic years of touring under their belts, this release marks the Ataris big-label bow. And if the concept uniting it is an ode to the power of memory--a conceit attributed to Richard Hell, but one that ironically might as well have originated with the likes of Billy Joel--Kris Roe and company blitz their way through it with kinetic power and hooks to spare. But therein lies the rub: Fans will find this an album rife with positive energy, bright, well-constructed songs, and upbeat deliveries (if sometimes in service of awkward intellectual pretensions like "Unopened Letter to the World"'s parallels between Kurt Cobain and no less than Emily Dickinson); cynics may hear at as further evidence that punk and alternative rock have been co-opted in service of formulas as well-honed--and rigid--as anything the dreaded Corp Rock '80s ever yielded. Still, if play-it-to-the-back-rows, unabashed power-pop is what the Ataris were after here, they've delivered it with nigh perfection, right down to a slick, pumped up cover of Don Henley's classic-rock warhorse "The Boys of Summer." --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00008J2QB
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #101,042 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on April 21, 2003
Format: Audio CD
As any punk rock fan would be, I was worried when I heard the Ataris, one of my favorite bands, was signed to a major label (Columbia). This is often the kiss of death for these types of bands, as they start producing poppy, lyrically-cheezy music in exchange for a spot on TRL and a chance to be on the Civic Tour (yes I am talking about New Found Glory) but back to the subject at hand, the Ataris released a new CD on Columbia, "So Long, Astoria" and although it's not nearly as 'punk' as their older CDs, it's still an amazing album. Usually it's bad when bands mature, but Kris Roe and the guys have matured while making sure they remember their roots. Almost the entire CD is about his teenage years. Anyway, here's a rundown
1. So Long Astoria- great opener, catchy riffs, heartfelt lyrics. 9/10
2. Takeoffs and Landings- another catchy song with really meaningful lyrics, would be a good single. 9/10
3. In This Diary- shouldn't be a single, but is still a great song, in fact sounds a little 'too' tailor-made for radio, the only song on the CD that does. 7/10
4. My Reply- Not about the typical 'boy wants girl' mantra we've come to know Kris for, but a very emotional song. It rocks. 9/10
5. Unopened Letter to the World- this sounds most like the older Ataris stuff, so naturally it's great. 9.5/10
6. The Saddest Song- very emotional, about Kris' daughter, but the piano just doesn't sit well with me. 6/10
7. Summer 79- Kris tries to be a little too much like Bryan Adams. The lyrics don't sound very emotional, just a fun-in-the-sun type song. We call this filler. 4/10
8. The Hero Dies in This One- now the lyrics and music here are great, and Kris' ending to the song (listen to the song) is amazing and you can really tell he means it, not like Good Charlotte.
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Format: Audio CD
When I learned that the Ataris were releasing a new CD under the major label Columbia Records, I was excited but worried at the same time. The demise of some of my favorite bands came as a result of leaving the indie scene, including New Found Glory and Blink 182. But once I listened to this CD, it became clear to me that the Ataris were not about to sell out anytime soon.
This CD definitely has a different sound than their previous releases, with more melodic guitar riffs and more heartfelt songs. But the distinct sound of Kris Roe's vocals are still present, and you can still feel the emotion in every note. Some of the best songs on this CD are the title track, "My Reply," "Unopened Letter to the World," "The Saddest Song," and "Summer '79." I also enjoyed the remake of Don Henley's "The Boys of Summer."
Basically, I love this CD. I wouldn't necessarily call it the best of their releases, but it still totally awesome and I love it as much as the rest of their CD's. I would recommend it if you are an established Ataris fan in order to fully appreciate it. If you are new to them, pick up "Blue Skies, Broken Hearts...Next 12 Exits" or "End is Forever," then try out this CD. They set the bar high with "Blue Skies," and they are still reaching it, even on a major label. I am confident that they will keep up the good work.
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Format: Audio CD
If you are (like me) frustrated with all the 'so called punk bands' they play on the radio all day long, then you will really enjoy the new Ataris album. This is the real deal ! And even their new album is more rock than punk, it is probably their best release so far. These songs are full of emotions and the craftsmanship of the songs and the production is outstanding. The cover version of 'Boys of Summer' became instantly one of my all time favorites - but all their original material is fantastic, too. The sound of this CD is somewhere between the 'Goo Goo Dolls' (producer Lou Giordano used to work with them) and the excellent first 'Third Eye Blind' album. It's a straight forward rock album with strong punk influences. As long as there are bands like 'The Ataris' and CDs like 'So Long, Astoria' there is hope for music.
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Format: Audio CD
Honestly, I like this album. I really do. It's just that it makes me a little sad, and that's not just because of the sad reflective lyrics and melodies that scream "emo" louder than a pair of thick rimmed glasses and a book by Kerouac. The saddest thing about this album is that the Ataris have ditched almost every bit of pop-punk and instead aimed for a radio-friendly emo-pop style. But here's the thing - as much as I would love to be a music elitist and hate this album - I can't. Even though it's obviously a desperate attempt to latch onto the mainstream emo trend, it's a well-thought out and well-written album. That's what separates the Ataris from their corporate punk brethren Good Charlotte, Simple Plan and Yellowcard - The Ataris can actually write some very good lyrics. Listen to "All You Can Ever Learn Is What You Already Know" or the title track for evidence of that. Unfortunately, the entire album isn't as consistent. Kris Roe tends to get so wrapped up in his own memories that the songs become difficult to relate to. Also, "Radio #2" may attempt to be a sarcastic take on corporate radio, but with "In This Diary" all over mainstream radio and MTV it comes off as pure hypocrisy. But in the end, the good outweighs the bad. It doesn't compare to their independent work, but So Long Astoria is probably the best mainstream pop-punk CD released in recent years.
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