3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Solid listen throughout - best release since 2003's "Old",
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Changing of the Guard (Audio CD)
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.