Starflyer 59 has been quietly releasing some of the best guitar rock of the last half-decade. 2006's My Island does absolutely nothing to break up the string of smartly produced, expertly played, and melody-rich albums Jason Martin and friends have snuck under the radar. In fact, it may just be their best yet. The album uses the same basic template of layered guitars, subtle keyboards, and Martin's gentle vocals as before, but while the last couple records moved toward a more adult and mellow sound, My Island has more energy. Much more. Songs like the opener "The Frontman, I Win" and the pounding rocker "Mic the Mic" have propulsive rhythms, spiky guitars, and a wiry, urgent sound that jumps out of the speakers. Even the songs that aren't quite so uptempo benefit from a newfound brightness and edge. A tune like "The Nice Guy" would have been a drifting ballad on a previous album, but here it has a bounce and strut that keeps the listener on their toes and fully involved. It's a slight shift in direction that keeps My Island from being just another Starflyer 59 album and makes it stand out. It's highly possible that this shift is down to Martin listening (as so many others have) to some post-punk or post-punk revival bands. If that's the case, he has internalized the influence completely and made it a part of the Starflyer 59 aesthetic instead of just aping the post-punk sound and coming off like a bandwagon jumper. He's also written a batch of hooky, memorable songs that stand up to repeated listens. Only the overly gloomy "Division" lets the side down a bit, and it is only weak because the rest are so strong. My Island is a brilliant tiny leap forward for Starflyer 59, and it makes their already rock-solid catalog even more worth checking out.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra