[Review] Starfish64 – Scattered Pieces Of Blue

Starfish64 is a project born as a solo project by the German singer/songwriter and poly-instrumentalist Dieter Hoffmann in 2006. Over the years it has evolved to a stable lineup and a more sophisticated genre between Progressive and Art Rock. The new album “Scattered Pieces Of Blue” was released on May 06, 2022 and contains 10 tracks, of which the last 4 make up “The Utopia Suite.” The album opens with “Blue Piece (Of Something In The Air)” which combines more songwriting traits with tempo changes and elaborate textures, with solo keyboard inserts. The voacale interprets the piece well, which in the second part offers a good instrumental section, and then returns to the singing and closes. With softer atmospheres and modern sounds, “Birdsong” is a track that enhances the songwriting and the more ‘song’ aspect of the band’s sound. Very intense and with a passionate guitar solo insert in the final, with a warm and expressive vocal it is a pleasant piece. “Sunrise Over The Weathered Roofs Of Platania” is a short track with a dreamy atmosphere, developed with an interweaving of guitar arpeggios and Ambient keyboards. The drumming is percussive and the sound is delicate and Dreamy-Prog. Deep and leading bass lines and an engaging vocal characterize “Forget Me Not (Album Version)” an engaging track with an intertwining of valuable keyboards. Between deep melodies, electronic strokes and engaging refrains, this original piece develops. A hypnotic intertwining of keyboards and a spoken vocal characterize “Blue Piece (Reprise)” which takes up the melodies of the opening song with a darker touch. The first part of the album ends with “Happiness” which in spite of the title develops on melancholic atmospheres and a more Art Rock sound with forays into experimentation. The vocal is warm and expressive and full of pathos, as is the music with good textures and wind inserts. The suite that concludes the album opens with “Time’s Up Utopia” which is the longest running track, and features an intro with electronic keyboards. The rhythm session is solid with deep bass lines, with the song developing between vocal and instrumental parts blending Pop and Prog with quality. The drumming connects the next part “Intersection One” characterized by a more electronic sound and close to the first German electronics. The vocal is enveloping, while with the entry of electric guitar riffs the next part “Number Forty-Five” begins with more Rock features than the previous one. Combining electronic keyboard inserts and modern songwriting features with classic Rock, this song is soft but engaging. The suite and the disc end with “Space Junk” which in the intro takes up the hypnotic melodies of the initial keyboards. After a softer first part, the song develops with good electric guitar textures and an energetic sound with a prolonged solo that accompanies us throughout the second part. An album that combines various genres and styles, including songwriting, Art Rock and Progressive with a delicate touch and good songwriting. The first part is more songwriter while the suite shows the more Prog side of the band’s sound. A record for lovers of softer sounds than Prog with a good blend of modern and classic features and the personal touch of the band.

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Tracklist

01. Blue Piece (Of Something In The Air) (03:53)
02. Birdsong (04:46)
03. Sunrise Over The Weathered Roofs Of Platania (02:59)
04. Forget Me Not (Album Version) (03:51)
05. Blue Piece (Reprise) (01:51)
06. Happiness (03:56)
07. Time’s Up Utopia (09:31)
08. Intersection One (02:49)
09. Number Forty-Five (03:55)
10. Space Junk (03:45)

Lineup

Dieter Hoffmann / Voice, Keyboards & Programming, Guitars
Henrik Kropp / Drums, Cymbals (6)

With:
Martin Pownall / Bass (1, 4, 7, 9, 10), Eectric guitar (4), Additional Keyboards (4, 7), Backing Vocals (4)
Didier Mollart / Backing Vocals (1, 4, 7)
Tobias Kassühlke / Bass & Solo Guitar (2)
Annalei / Pencils (2)
Jörg Hoffmann / Acoustic (3) & Electric Guitars (3, 9), Acoustic & Electric Guitar Solos (10)
Julie Pownall / Backing Vocals (4)
Dyko / Voice (5)
Jan Thiede / Acoustic Guitars (6)
Christian Wahl / Flugelhorn (6)
Dominik Suhl / Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Guitar Solo (7)
Eddy SR / Moog Solo (8)
S3E3 / Voice (8)
The choir of true believers / Backing Vocals (9)
Major T. / Distant Vibes (10)

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Author: Jacopo Vigezzi

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