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STARFISH

The Church

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The Church Starfish album cover
3.36 | 32 ratings | 9 reviews | 23% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Destination (5:51)
2. Under The Milky Way (4:57)
3. Blood Money (4:23)
4. Lost (4:47)
5. North, South, East and West (4:59)
6. Spark (3:45)
7. Antenna (3:51)
8. Reptile (4:56)
9. A New Season (2:58)
10. Hotel Womb (5:40)

Total Time: 46:07

Lyrics

Search THE CHURCH Starfish lyrics

Music tabs (tablatures)

Search THE CHURCH Starfish tabs

Line-up / Musicians

- Steve Kilbey / vocals, bass
- Peter Koppes / guitars, vocals
- Marty Willson-Piper / guitars, vocals
- Richard Ploog / drums, percussion

Releases information

CD Arista ARCD-8521

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THE CHURCH Starfish ratings distribution


3.36
(32 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(23%)
23%
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(42%)
42%
Good, but non-essential (29%)
29%
Collectors/fans only (6%)
6%
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)
0%

THE CHURCH Starfish reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by maani
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Founding Moderator
4 stars [Sixth in a series] After taking an almost three-year hiatus, The Church returned with an album that shows just how comfortable they had become with their progressive sensibilities (as well as providing a vehicle for Kilbey's increasingly poetic lyrics). "Destination" begins the journey with the most musically "thoughtful" composition they had so far produced. It is a beautifully constructed piece containing a deceptively simple, but effective, arrangement (including a surprising, almost "empty" pre-chorus, showing their increasing comfort with "space"), and their most maturely textured sound so far. Their second (unexpected, runaway) hit - "Under the Milky Way" - contains some of their developing "trademarks," including a crisp acoustic guitar, a simple, haunting keyboard figure, and a lush, expansive atmosphere. "Blood Money" has a more straightforward feel, but retains most of the elements that the band was beginning to incorporate as part of its now-almost-fully-developed "sound." Although seemingly way-simple, "Lost" is a very good example of the sound and approach that would "mark" The Church's style (especially on "Holograms of Baal"). "North, South, East and West" is another excellent example of the kind of expansive atmosphere, guitar figures and arrangement that would come to dominate - indeed, define - the band's sound. "Spark," a throw-back to the band's earlier sound (rock-y, pop-ish), is interesting, even captivating, in its own way. "Antenna" brings us back to the band's new sensibilities, this time with a wonderful rhythm guitar figure, a tight arrangement, and that now-trademark lush, expansive atmosphere. Along with "Destination," my fave on the album. "Reptile" is more straightforward, though it maintains many of the elements now associated with the band's approach. "A New Season" seems to be an idea that didn't quite cohere, and is the album's "weak link." "Hotel Womb" ends the album on an appropriate (if somewhat melancholy) note. All the requisite elements are here, though assembled in a slightly different way. Indeed, it provides an almost perfect transition from this album to the next: it could just as appropriately have served as the opening song on "Gold Afternoon Fix."

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Send comments to maani (BETA) | Report this review (#9) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, January 30, 2004

Review by hdfisch
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars Edited 10/4/2005!

The songs presented on this album here are all very nice and a nice listen, in fact one of them even became something like a "airplay hit" and probably more songs on this album would have the (doubtful) "quality" for this because most of them are quite radio-friendly I have to say. Obviously here no keyboards at all have been involved and the music is dominated by jangling guitars and could be compared with other Indie rock bands from that time like The Verve, Echo & the Bunnymen, The Smiths.The album is a nice Indie pop rock one and for that reason I can't give it more than 2 stars,

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Send comments to hdfisch (BETA) | Report this review (#10) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, January 30, 2005

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Easy listening category but at the same time this Australian outfit were/are a cut above a lot of other bands in the same category. Starfish makes for a great listen and has jewels embedded throughout the album. That does mean that it is all not brilliant so yes, it does submit to mediocrity at times.

' Under The Milky Way ' is undoubtedly the star on this album. Other great tracks include ' Spark' and ' Reptile'. Steve Kilbey does his business in the vocal department adding the stalwart bass lines. Is this progressive music? Certainly not but well worth an argument on inclusion on this site. I for one welcome them and their contribution to prog related sounds. No worries Australia! A good album at best but I am sure there are many die hards who would rate this higher. A good comparison would be Lloyd Cole and the Commotions from the UK for the characteristic sound and voice.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#113359) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, February 24, 2007

Review by fuxi
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars In case you don't know the Church, STARFISH is a delightful album of dreamy, melancholic and nocturnal pop-rock, strongly influenced by early 1980s bands like Echo and the Bunnymen, Aztec Camera and the Sound, but sounding considerably less anguished. If I'm not mistaken (correct me if I'm wrong!) the Church owe a lot to that ideal combination of acoustic-guitar-twinned-with-Rickenbacker. The second tune on this album, 'Under the Milky Way', is one of my favourite (belated) new-wave tracks, and I was very happy when it finally got its due on the original soundtrack of the film DONNIE DARKO, since it was featured in that film's party sequence, if I remember correctly. (Unfortunately, in the revised Director's Cut, which many of you may get to see when you buy the DVD, the song's impact was much reduced: you only hear a snippet of it on the car radio, when Donnie and his Dad go for a ride.) What any of this has to do with prog rock I couldn't tell you. Perhaps there's a certain Syd Barrett influence... Much recommended, in any case!

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Send comments to fuxi (BETA) | Report this review (#156542) | Review Permalink
Posted Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Review by Mellotron Storm
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars This is a very special album for me. People have said they feel sorry for me that when I started to really get into music it was 1980, and we all know how bad the eighties were for music. I did feel that way around 1987, it was such a bleak time music wise for me, but not the first half of the decade. I was listening to "Heaven And Hell" by BLACK SABBATH, "Permanent Waves' by RUSH, "Piece Of Mind" by IRON MAIDEN along with AC/DC and the classics like FLOYD and ZEP and many other "Hard Rock" bands of that time. I remember "New Wave" music being all over the radio, I actually liked some of it, it was fun and that's what life was all about for me back then. I never bought any albums by these bands though because I figured there would be one or two good songs and the rest would be awful. I was concerned about that when I bought this cd ("Starfish") recently but how wrong I was.

This is very much a guitar album with those duo guitars offering up these melodies that jangle and echo. Lots of atmosphere and space here. Then we get Kilby's reserved vocals singing these great lyrics. It was the song "Under The Milky Way" that caused me to buy this record in the first place, it just brings back such great memories of the early eighties, and even though it was released much later (1988) it has that "sound" from what was on the radio back then.1980 was such a great year for me, the Trans Am I had bought the year before was done (jacked up, wide rear tires, Crager rims, upgraded stereo) and I just started going out with the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in June of that year.That reminds me of the title of that OCEANSIZE song "Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs", I couldn't believe that she would go out with me. Anyway back then it was all about this green eyed blonde, drugs, music and my car with the Hurst 4 speed shifter. Had to get that in (haha). We would just drive the beaches back then listening to tunes. Anyway the music here by these Australians is very much what i'd call beach music. Just everything about it makes me yearn for those days even though I wouldn't trade my family for any of it. It's hard to explain really.

"Destination" has such a dreamy and lush sound to it, very much a feel good song for me. A top three track too. As is of course "Under The Milky Way". Water just rises to my eyes just about everytime I hear this. Some things can't be explained but when I hear this i'm back in 1980 in my spirit. Just a gorgeous track with that strummed guitar and those almost spoken vocals. "Blood Money" has a great mood to it. It kicks in before 1 1/2 minutes. Love the guitar after 2 minutes. "Lost" just trips along with these incredible lyrics. Great tune. "North, South, East And West" has this really good sounding guitar to open that jangles and echoes. Another favourite for me. "Spark" is the most uptempo and energetic of the lot. "Antenna" opens with more amazing guitar that seems to fill the air. Some mandolin too 2 minutes in. "Reptile" is the other top three. I just can't get enough of these guitar sounds. Beautiful track. "A New Season" is another feel good song. The vocals and guitars seem to blend together to create a haze of pleasure. "Hotel Womb" has a Post-Rock vibe to it. Check out the guitar after 3 1/2 minutes and the drums are very prominant here.

This was like a trip down memory lane even though I never took This trip before. I'm sure this all makes perfect sense.

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Send comments to Mellotron Storm (BETA) | Report this review (#232977) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, August 20, 2009

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars This sixth album from "The Church" is all about melancholic rock. The band seems to have taken some distance with their new wave oriented sound and released a straight forward good rock album. Still, "Spark" or "Reptile" do sound as most of their previous works.

Lots of guitars, even acoustic moments like during "Under The Milky Way" do provide a fine musical moment. I far much prefer this album than their last three efforts. This one offers a more mature work (maybe that the long three years break was necessary to reach this).

I also agree with the comparison, with the great "Echo & The Bunnymen". Same melancholic and detached approach. I quite like this actually. The Bunnymen were definitely one of the best band of the eighties.

I also have to mention that the prog relation is rather thin on this album; but we are still in front of a good rock album. And when music is good, it is all that matters I guess.

One of my fave is the dynamic and solid "North, South, East And West". The filiation with The Bunnymen has never been so close. Soaring guitars, peaceful and deep vocals. Quite enjoyable for sure.

The only negative point about this album could be that it should have been more varied. After the first half, one gets too much of the same (cf. "Antenna"). In all, this is quite a decent album which I rate with three stars.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#239114) | Review Permalink
Posted Sunday, September 13, 2009

Latest members reviews

4 stars I'm a sucker for a well crafted tune and thats what you get with The Church's release of Starish. With their almost Byrds like jangly guitar sound of Piper and Koppes, as well as a very atmospheric laid back approach, at first I found it difficult to see them as an Art Rock Prog band. However ... (read more)

Report this review (#125345) | Posted by madgo2 | Sunday, June 10, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars The Church have released a multitude of albums since 1981, but one stands out for it's compositions and 2 radio-friendly hits: Starfish. Aside from a kind of cool album name, The Church had the insanely catchy "Reptile" with the delayed picking at the beginning of the song that makes it instantl ... (read more)

Report this review (#58067) | Posted by | Saturday, November 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars "Starfish" was the lonely commercial adventure for The Church. For a band of an underground nature like this one, this could have been something dangerous. Fortunately they managed to come up with something playable on the radio and reliable to fans taste at the same time. However, alth ... (read more)

Report this review (#52724) | Posted by shyman | Saturday, October 22, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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