Monday, August 16, 2010

A message for the ages

The Changing of the Guard, the 12th Studio Release from Starflyer 59 (a.k.a Jason Martin) continues the Starflyer 59 tradition of expert songwriting combined with what could best be described as As Ethereal Synth-Alternative Rock.  While more introspective and less "spiritual" sounding than Dial M (2008) there are nuggets to be mined for the careful listener.

An adherent of the cliche "Always leave them wanting more", TCOTG gives us 10 songs that clock in just over 30 minutes.  The track listing:
  • Fun is Fun
  • Shane
  • Time Machine
  • Trucker's Son
  • The Morning Rise/Frightening Eyes
  • I had a song for the ages
  • Coconut Trees
  • Cry Me A River
  • Kick the Can
  • Lose My Mind
Starflyer 59 has always been on the periphery of my musical experience.  I knew they existed, enjoyed the music from time to time, but never considered myself a "fan".  As such I only have two albums Silver (1993) (Hold onto your wallets, it's the corrected version, not the ones printed Starflier 59) and Dial M.  I usually gravitate to the music of the other half of the "brothers Martin" Joy Electrics Ronnie.  As such, I had no idea that Trucker's Son was biographical, I only thought it an enjoyable send up of Coal Miner's Daughter. (A country music reference from someone who hates country music).  The rockiest song on the album is Cry Me A River, most of the album is a easy listening, if not understanding.

As I said before, you may find gems here if you look.  One gem is in the final cut, Lose My Mind. Listening to the song, it is obvious he is not talking about going crazy.  I prefer to think that he is talking about the process of renewing his mind.  He is "losing" his mind and putting on the mind of Christ.  But that's just me.

Ever the perfectionist, just like his brother, he even apologizes for the album on his album.  He may say he has a "song for the ages written on some pages at home.", but if he does, that's going to make an awesome 13th.

I give The Changing of the Guard a solid 4 Emeralds (out of 5).  Will it make the final cut to be nominated for the Platinum Vinyl Awards? Maybe not, but there are four whole months to go, and this album tends to grow on you.