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13
The Changing Of The Guard
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2010
I feel sorry for Jason Martin. Ever since Old there have been a lot lyrics about getting sold short in the music industry, or at least thats how I interpret it. How he isn't a 1000 times more popular I don't undertand. This album continues the legacy that is Starflyer. Each album is an evolution from the last, but retains that signature sound. Its a back and forth motion and I find myself more drawn to the darker sounds. "Morning Rise/Frightenening eyes" is the center piece sound of this album for me.
Overall, I feel the darker songs eclipse the brighter ones, but there really isn't a dud on here. I love Martin's songwriting and laser cut production. I hope he doesn't follow through on his lyrics in "A Song For the Ages" when he says, "So listen up closely, it could be my last." I want to see another Starflyer album and another and another. I swear, its an addiction once you start listening. Stellar songwriter, stellar album.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2010
every Starflyer album for the past several years has been following a similar sound.

i mean this statement as a compliment. i am still a fan of Jason Martin, though it has been many years since i first stopped
listening to most of the Christian-associated artists i liked when i was a teenager in favor of better music. the reason i keep
going back to Starflyer is because Martin has carved out his niche - he has a mostly predictable sound, let's face it, but sonically
the songs are there, and lyrically they are quite earnest. Martin's understated lyrical style has always suited his melodic sensibility,
and he is consistent with this musical pairing which is why none of his albums have ever disappointed me.

the song "shane" immediately stood out, but shortly thereafter i began going back to "trucker's son," knowing that Jason and Ronnie have always helped to run their father's trucking business. the blue collar ethic of both of these brothers inspires me to be a better person and has for years. i come from a similar background and have similar populist sentiments.

another killer track is "coconut trees." note the completely badass ending to the song which almost comes out of nowhere but makes complete sense anyway by the time it hits you full force.

i think this album is excellent all the way through, and also one of the better indie albums of 2010. certainly it is one of the most instantly likable, not only for its sound, but for its emotional honesty. Martin even turns up the rock and roll on "Cry Me A River," placing this "I am the Portuguese Blues" themed heavyweight immediately after the epic close to "Coconut Trees." Truly, this is a purposeful sequencing choice we can all appreciate.

i can feel the personality behind these lyrics; listen to "the morning rise" and let me know if you're not feeling Jason's mid-life crisis through the words and the general vibe of this instant Starflyer classic.

listen to it from start to finish. perhaps use a decent set of headphones and tune out the rest of this mad world. become a fan of Starflyer if you haven't had the good sense to do it already. buy all of the albums starting with Silver if you've ever had a broken heart and start working your way up from there.

finally, if you are a musical adventurer also support Ronnie Martin, whose songwriting abilities are only eclipsed by those beautiful otherworldly synthesizers always trying to steal the show.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2010
If you know nothing about this band, this may be a good place to start, but so would albums, The Fashion Focus, Leave Here A Stranger and Old.

I've never done like a real, review type thing, but these are just my thoughts (more or less copied from the Starflyer message board where we're lamenting the ball-dropping that is label Tooth & Nail's utter disservice to actually delivering physical CD copies to major retailers. tsk tsk Brandon Ebel)

So i give the album a solid 4 out of 5. (per my iTunes star rating average)

Thematically, the lyrics deal with being a 40-something and still being in an indie band and questioning whether or not to continue when you've basically done it as a side job for the last 15 years. ' Shane' & `Trucker's Son' ended up being some of the better songs on the album, which is sorta a bummer, cuz i'd hope for more tracks i hadn't heard yet to stand out (and `Coconut Trees' sounds like a "My Island" b-side). but I Had A Song For The Ages really surprised me. i love that one. Cry Me A River is the best song i've heard by that title (here's lookin at you Justin Timberlake and New Amsterdams). it's not the most memorable really, but i really dig its groove. "Time Machine" also commands attention as a stand-out track in its complete left field keyboard intro

In fact, a couple songs just aren't very memorable.. I can admit that. But part of the charm is that front-man Jason Martin keeps writing more new music every 1.5 years or so and in doing that - finds time to give you several great nuggets in a very wide variety of music styles. (they have been around since 1993/1994 and nearly every album is different from the last musically...) The songs, even the less memorable ones, have that pleasant jangle Starflyer fans have come to expect coupled with Jason's signature lead lines, with a slightly more western tinge. the drums are for the most part, softer and compliment the overall style very well... more so than the last 2 albums in particular.

but overall i really enjoy it. i like how upbeat it is at times and yet it weaves into slow and western-y style tunes other times. Jason's voice is so much more confident these days too which is such a great thing..with the vocal note bends he's doing now. i think CMAR and `Kick the Can' really highlight this aspect. (and the drums in Kick the Can - ha wow - you'd think Bazan or Lenz was playing)

This album is already being negatively compared to 2008's "Dial M" album as too similar. i think i like it more than the previous album cuz after a while, the synth thing sorta wears on me. this record has a better flow, more breathing room in the songs, seems more organic... just seems airy and breezy like "I drive a lot" (lead track from The Fashion Focus) felt when i first heard it.

for those keen listeners and sci-fi/horror fans, there are plenty of Twilight Zone (1959 TV series) references as well as a couple Western film references (chiefly "Shane") throughout the album.

really - the only downside, like most Starflyer releases, is that just ends too soon. here's to hoping the bonus 7" coming with my delayed vinyl copy provides more great music nuggets.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 12, 2011
It's 2011 and this was released last year, and I just now found a physical copy at a local Christian retailer (Mardel) for 6.99! And wow, this is an amazing album.

I have every SF59's major albums and EP's excluding 1998's "The Fashion Focus" and 2001's "Leave Here a Stranger", just because they are really rare to find a physical copy in stores (but that doesn't mean I won't buy them online eventually). Every album has different feel to it. And personally, I am not allowed to criticize any album in a negative way, because they are all originally unique in their own way. I still to this day still can't stop listening to 1995's "Gold". That album will always be their best in my opinion. If you can find a physical copy of the original Gold album, congratulations, get it!

On that note, lets get to The Changing of the Guard.

When I first press play "Fun is Fun" comes on. It kicks off kind of like Dial M's first track "Minor Keys". And that makes me happy. It has a nice peppy and acoustic feel. Perfect way to kick off this CD. (9/10)

Next track is "Shane". This was one of the first songs they put up on thier Myspace. And this will always be my favorite. I love it how Jason Martin has progressed his voice and given it more confidence. You can feel that groove that he is in w/ his deep singing. In my opinion, this is the best cut here. (10/10)

"Time Machine". This is another stand out track. It hits home just talking about how time gets away from you. Makes me want to be a better person and make a difference. (9/10)

Next is "Truckers Son". To me, this is a new sound for SF59. This song is really relaxing and has a western-ish feel. Another reason why I LOVE SF59, there is always something different coming from them. (9/10)

"The Morning Rise/Frightening Eyes" is my other favorite on here. It has a mellow, slow groove to it that is so addicting. When i listen to this, I imagine myself driving on the back roads here in my homestate of Oklahoma w/ a thunderstorm in the distance. Sounds weird, but this song is amazing. (10/10)

"I Had a Song for the Ages" is not my personal favorite. But is still a good song. A fast paced song but soft song. Very piano driven. Maybe it'll grow on me to be one of my favorites, but this is the weakest (not a bad thing) song on the album. (8/10)

"Coconut Trees" is a slow paced that reminds me of "My Island" stuff. Brings back good memories of when I first started listening to this band. Nice song. (9/10)

"C.M.A.R." is a nice change to this album. As everyone else says, it sound like "I Am the Portugese Blues". And I agree. And there is nothing wrong w/ that. Cause that was one of their coolest albums. (10/10)

"Kick the Can" sounds like an acoustic "I am the portugese blues" song. Haha. This is one of my other favorites. (10/10)

"Lose My Mind" is the last song on the album. And it reminds me of a slower Fun Is Fun and something of of Dial M. Classic SF59 sound. Great way to complete the album. (9/10)

On that note, I have no complaints. Some say their albums are too short. But you know what? They can make them short, cause thats the way Starflyer 59 likes it. They know they are teasing us! Their music is so addicting. I can't get enough!

Overall rating: 10 out of 10.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2010
I wasn't sure at first, but after a few listens I put this up there among their top albums. It's definitely a grower, so don't be expected to be blown away right away. Stand out tracks for me include "Trucker's Son," "Shane," and "Lose My Mind."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2010
It's hard to know what to expect from each new Starflyer 59 release. I could put in three different CDs from their (awesome!) catalog, and a new listener would have no idea they came from the same band.

Having said that, "The Changing of the Guard" definitely feels like a modern Starflyer album. It is subdued, mellow, and perfect music to have on while working. My only complaint is a simple one: none of the songs on this album are as catchy as some past Staflyer tunes. If you asked me what my favorite track is after listening to the album 4 times, I wouldn't be able to name one. There isn't a stand-out hit.

But who cares? It's new music and I'm definitely glad I purchased it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2010
If you're a fan of Starflyer, you know what to expect. However, Jason Martin and co. do manage to surprise by using different instrumentation, more upbeat tempos, and different sonics. Personally, I consider it the first engaging release from Starflyer since I am the Portuguese Blues. (I don't count Ghosts of the Past since it felt more like a compilation of eps--but that release is also interesting). There are moments of greatness in Martin's writing. One day he's going to get the right collaboration and write that perfect album. For now, this is good enough to satisfy my need for Starflyer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2010
This album is for Starflyer 59 fans. If you're already a fan you'll love it. If you've never heard starflyer 59 then you need to get the silver album first or get Everybody Makes Mistakes. Two great starflyer 59 albums. Don't misunderstand there's some great music here and if you really feel inclined to buy it then go for it but be warned that the album is more geared towards fans.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 14, 2012
Starflyers latest album continues the trend of offering better music with each album. Starflyer's originality has always made me a fan. This album is no different. The creativity on this album continues
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on February 10, 2015
Jason Martin has apparently moved into that place where he has developed a clear, identifiable sound but is either uninterested in or unable to take it new places. In other words, this release has a very ho-hum feel to it. It's solid, maybe more "heavy" and "guitar-oriented" than some other SF59 albums. It reminds me a bit of My Island. But not many songs stand out or accomplish anything that's not done more convincingly or passionately on other SF59 albums. Call it SF59-101.
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