10 Songs, 45 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Much of this 1988 album documents Los Angeles (and America) through the eyes of Church lead singer Steve Kilbey, a guy whose songwriting gift has always been about grasping life’s absurdities alongside its inherent poetry. The band’s gently chiming breakthrough single, “Under the Milky Way,” told of disconnection, of “loveless fascination”; it's as hushed a pop song as anything to ever hit the worldwide Top 40. Produced by West Coast mellow-mafia men Waddy Wachtel (Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon) and Greg Ladanyi (Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne), the record sounds suspended between folk and pop, between Laurel Canyon hippies and pop-psych revivalists. Kilbey and band (including remarkable guitarist Marty Willson-Piper, who sings the rocker “Spark” here) ably pull sadness to the beautiful poppy fore, especially on “Hotel Womb,” “Lost,” “A New Season," and “Antenna.” And you won’t find many better condemnations of ’80s L.A. than “North, South, East and West” and “Blood Money.” There’s a timelessness to the music on Starfish that borders the mythical—that is, as mythical as any pop-rock album can be.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Much of this 1988 album documents Los Angeles (and America) through the eyes of Church lead singer Steve Kilbey, a guy whose songwriting gift has always been about grasping life’s absurdities alongside its inherent poetry. The band’s gently chiming breakthrough single, “Under the Milky Way,” told of disconnection, of “loveless fascination”; it's as hushed a pop song as anything to ever hit the worldwide Top 40. Produced by West Coast mellow-mafia men Waddy Wachtel (Linda Ronstadt, Warren Zevon) and Greg Ladanyi (Fleetwood Mac, Jackson Browne), the record sounds suspended between folk and pop, between Laurel Canyon hippies and pop-psych revivalists. Kilbey and band (including remarkable guitarist Marty Willson-Piper, who sings the rocker “Spark” here) ably pull sadness to the beautiful poppy fore, especially on “Hotel Womb,” “Lost,” “A New Season," and “Antenna.” And you won’t find many better condemnations of ’80s L.A. than “North, South, East and West” and “Blood Money.” There’s a timelessness to the music on Starfish that borders the mythical—that is, as mythical as any pop-rock album can be.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
99 Ratings

99 Ratings

Dr. Jimmy/ Mr. Jim ,

What You're Looking For

One of my all time favorite albums. There is a bold atmoshpere of melancholy in most of these tracks (especially the first few), expressing grave distance and solitude of mind. Dreamy lyrics and catchy instrumentation, all executed in a very intelligent way. Any fan of the "Milky Way" should consider the rest of this album (similar tracks: 1-5, 7,8).

MugsnJugs ,

One of the best albums from the late 80s

As the music scene was getting ready for a major shift in the late 80s, there were a few groups that were expressing themselves way ahead of the curve. Nirvana was just thinking about slaying the heavy metal scene pop was giving way to hip-hop. In 1988 The Church made a statement with an etherial tune called, "Under the Milky Way". Simple acoustic guitar and more "spoken" than "sung", this song captured something that music of the time had lost: feeling. The entire album is surprisingly simple, but it's mood can capture you. High points are Destination, Under the Milky Way, and Lost. This collection has stood the test of time very well; still a relevant CD.

BTACYG ,

No bad tracks

The church, specifically this album, has been part of my collection for years, since there inception. This is, as many others have mentioned, a fantastic unique album to own. Unique in that you really can enjoy the whole album 'Under the Milky Way' without scanning through to the next track......they are all great tunes! New Season being my Fav!

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