"Veteran alternative rockers Starflyer 59 have returned once again with their latest album, "Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice". Unlike the stripped-down hard rock of their previous classic "I Am The Portuguese Blues", "TV vs. SV" finds the band adopting a decidedly more layered approach. The emphasis is on mood and orchestration with several tracks featuring a live string section, horns and synths. The sound captured on this disc is not too far removed from bands such as New Order with a slight hint of The Smiths and early U2. Tracks such as "The Contest Completed", "A Good Living", "Softness, Goodness" and "Something Evil" are darker in mood but feature some of bandleader Jason Martin's best writing yet. "Night Life" has a feel that teeters on the verge of sounding like Electric Light Orchestra with its dynamic string arrangements and slow Lennon-esque grooves. The big standout on the album is upbeat "Good Sons" which shows off an obvious New Order influence with its driving dance rhythms and layered synths and keyboards. For the record, this track is probably the most dance-oriented piece that Starflyer has ever committed to disc. Indeed, all of "Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice" flows seamlessly and is without a doubt another masterpiece from this amazing band. The only minor drawback is that the album only contains nine tracks and runs for 32-minutes total. The upside is that it is nine great tracks and 32-minutes of great music. Jason Martin and Frank Lenz (the current line-up) have truly outdone themselves with this album. Martin's songwriting continues to flourish and grow with each album the band releases. "Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice" is no exception. Another Instant Starflyer Classic and Their Best Effort Yet!!! "
They can do no wrong... honestly
Freeze | OH | 04/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I wasn't sure what to expect after "Portugese Blues", but i was hoping for a more stripped down affair. What i got was something even better. "Talking Voice" is different than anything else they've done, but not by much. This is NOT a bad thing. The classic droney vocal stylings of Mr. Martin are present, but he has brought his multi-talented friend Mr. Frank Lenz along for the session to add some "sounds". Then he grabbed Ken Andrews to mix. Excellent choice. I believe this is the first records where Martin's voice is the main attraction. It is mixed so you can hear, understand and let every word sink in immediately. If that's sounds appealing to you, you will be in heaven with this record. I believe this is also the first record that i haven't said to myself, "This song sounds alot like _____ (insert SF59 song here) from ______ (insert SF59 album here)". Each song has a different vibe, a different tone and my favorite thing, a different sound or instrument.
After hearing this record, and then again, and then again (cause that's what happened when i got it), i think i would buy the next SF59 record if it only featured a washboard, a pair of spoons, and an old paint jug. I think Martin would find a way to make it brilliant. In my book, there will never be enough Starflyer records to make me happy. I'm not a fan at all, really."
kbarth17 | Luckenbach, TX | 04/12/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Starflyer with another stellar release, the mellow goodness of "Softness Goodness" to the experimental "Something Evil", along with drum machine beats of "Longest Line" this album is a winner. It plays like a combination of "Old" and earlier tracks off of "Fell in Love at 22". Starflyer 59 have never released a bad album and "Talking Voice versus Singing Voice" could be their best."
Head in the clouds...
Charles E. Broadway | Memphis | 05/24/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Phenomenal! Jason Martin & Frank Lenz (and co.) put style to work for them in an endeavor that has finally brought some class back to rock! Few and far between are the albums that define possibility but TV vs. SV is one such album. Swanky from the start "Contest Completed" is merely the block from which this genre bending album launches. "Easy Street," "A-Lists Go On," and "Good Sons" are easily three of SF59's most accomplished tracks to date. Never quite leaving the famous pure tone of Martins guitar out of the picture but rather bringing perfectly complementary elements (trumpet & string arrangements) that are lush and real into the arrangements make for a record that is soothingly balanced and rewardingly magnificent. Once again shoegazers everwhere have something to look forward to...up."
SF59 continue to produce quality
Shoegazer heaven | Spring, TX | 04/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After several listens, tvvssv is probably the best SF59 to listen to all the way through. It has the same sound of their 2003 release "Old" but each song flows so well together. It's like a combination of New Order and The Smiths but it remains uniquely Starflyer 59. Jason Martin has been writing some of the best pop albums of the last decade, from his wall of guitar sound on early releases to his more recent pop leanings, SF59 remain one of the few bands who haven't had a bad album. On TVVSSV, the familiar pop sound is there but with a darker vibe on tracks "Nightlife" and "Softness Goodness" to overtly spiritual songs "The Longest Line" and "Easy Street". This is the most complete Starflyer album, even better than their "Pet Sounds" inspired "Leave Here A Stranger". Why this band does not get more notice is beyond me. I hope SF59 continues to make great music for a long time. Give this many listens, it grows on you. The guitar on "Good living" is such mellow greatness, surf sounds and thirty two minutes of quality."