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Starfish [Bonus Disc]
     

Starfish [Bonus Disc]

by The Church
 

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Signing to Arista might have seemed an unusual move to start with, and getting produced by L.A. studio types like Waddy Wachtel even more so. But for the Church the rewards were great -- if sometimes too clean around the corners in comparison to the song-for-song masterpiece Heyday, Starfish set up the band's well-deserved

Overview

Signing to Arista might have seemed an unusual move to start with, and getting produced by L.A. studio types like Waddy Wachtel even more so. But for the Church the rewards were great -- if sometimes too clean around the corners in comparison to the song-for-song masterpiece Heyday, Starfish set up the band's well-deserved breakthrough in the States. The reason was "Under the Milky Way," still one of the most haunting and elegant songs ever to make the Top 40. As Steve Kilbey details a lyric of emotional distance and atmosphere, the band executes a quietly beautiful -- and as is so often the case with the Church, astonishingly well-arranged -- song, with mock bagpipes swirling through the mix for extra effect. That wasn't the only strong point on an album with more than a few; the leadoff track "Destination" was as strong an album opener as "Myrrh," if slower paced and much more mysterious, piano blending through the song's steady pace. The rest of the first side has its share of highlights, such as the quietly threatening edge of "Blood Money" and the confident, restrained charge of "North, South, East and West." Marty Willson-Piper gets to lead off the second side with "Spark," a vicious, tight rocker that captures some of the best '60s rock edge and gives it a smart update. Equally strong is Kilbey's "Reptile," with an appropriately snaky guitar line and rhythm punch offset against weirdly soothing keyboards. Peter Koppes has an OK vocal to his credit on "A New Season," but the stronger tracks are Kilbey's other contributions, the strong guitar waltz of "Antenna" (with great guest mandolin from David Lindley) and the closing charge (and very Church-like title) of "Hotel Womb." Performances throughout are at the least fine and at the most fantastic. [The 2011 reissue on Second Motion adds a second disc of single B-sides, outtakes, acoustic performances, and demos. Added up, it's one of the rare second discs that actually contributes to the value of the package. The Church were so good at this point that they had first-rate songs to spare; many of them, like the slow-motion psych ballad "Texas Moon" and the rocking jangler "Frozen and Distant," would have sounded just fine on the actual album. The very candid liner notes from Marty Willson-Piper -- sparing no feelings and airing all the dirty laundry -- are an added treat.] ~ Ned Raggett & Tim Sendra

Product Details

Release Date:
04/12/2011
Label:
Second Motion
UPC:
0634457532120
catalogNumber:
28
Rank:
66930

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Church   Primary Artist
Steve Kilbey   Bass Guitar,Vocals
Peter Koppes   Vocals
David Lindley   Mandolin
Greg Kuehn   Keyboards
Marty Willson-Piper   Vocals
Richard Ploog   Percussion,Drums
Waddy Wachtel   Background Vocals
Awesome Welles   Synclavier

Technical Credits

Church   Producer
Steve Kilbey   Composer,Producer
Peter Koppes   Composer
Tom Herbers   Engineer
Karin Jansson   Composer
Greg Ladanyi   Producer
Shep Lonsdale   Engineer
Marty Willson-Piper   Composer,Liner Notes,Sleeve Notes
Richard Ploog   Composer
Waddy Wachtel   Producer
Dare Mason   Note Editing
Caroline Greyshock   Cover Photo
Rachel Gutek   Reissue Design
Maude Gilman   Art Direction
Robert Matheu   Session Photographer
Michael Englert   Sleeve Photo
Naomi Diamond   Memorabilia

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