Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice is the newest addition to the Starflyer 59 catalog. While this album contains mostly new material, some fans may be familiar with "Softness, Goodness," which appeared on the band's limited edition The Last Laurel EP.
The album opens with "The Contest Completed," which sets the tone for the album. From the first listen, it's obvious that the lyrics are a bit more thought out than on previous albums. The song that follows is "Easy Street," featuring the band's first use of the trumpet in any of their songs (not counting the instrumental hidden track on Everybody Makes Mistakes. The use of extra instruments helps make the song stand out from traditional Starflyer songs.
Drummer, Frank Lenz created a wonderful string arrangement for "Night Life," which once again shows great instrumentation. Without the use of strings, the song would be missing some great dynamics. Following "Night Life" is "A Good Living," in which vocalist Jason Martin cries out to Jesus to help him to live out a good life. "Softness, Goodness" then makes a smooth transition from the previous song.
Once the final note of "Softness, Goodness" plays out, drums and guitar help pick up the pace for "Something Evil" (which was first released as an MP3 at www.sf59.com), while the closing song, "The Longest Line," features an 80's style drumbeat. In what is probably the most spiritual song the band has ever written, Martin makes reference to Jesus once again, as he sings about being called into heaven.
Overall, Talking Voice vs. Singing Voice is very catchy, and may be the album to interest people who never heard Starflyer 59. For current fans, it's an improvement. This should say a lot for a band that continues to strive for artistic integrity. Although the album winds up short, it is 32 minutes well spent, and is much more valuable than an hour of re-hashed pop music.- Review date: 4/12/05, written by Brett Wier
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