Starfish64 - Refugees

(CD 2015, 51:24, Private Release)

The tracks:
  1- Common Ground(4:51)
  2- Horizons Change(4:14)
  3- Territorial Waters(4:25)
  4- A Sunken Island(7:23)
  5- The Lost Boat(2:51)
  6- Fire Ship(2:40)
  7- Diaspora(5:41)
  8- The Clouds That Pass The Crossing(2:12)
  9- Bird Of Passage(1:53)
10- At The End Of The Pier(6:54)
11- Receding Recollection(5:03)
12- The Lost Boat (single remix)(3:18)

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It took Starfish64, which is actually Dieter Hoffmann, five years to make this album and if a “band” works that long on its music, then the music must be extremely good or as in this case extremely simple and rather boring and predictable.

The latter is the case as 85% of the songs on Refugees, a concept album about boat refugees which is rather up to date at the moment, are slow acoustic mellow tracks which do not really come to life. Take for instance Horizons Change, A Sunken Island, The Lost Boat, Diaspora or At The End Of The Pier, which are all sound alike tracks, meaning acoustic guitars, vocals and piano melodies. The vocals of Hoffmann are also not that great, as his voice sounds too monotonous to really amaze you and his English sounds too German to me....
The only two songs I actually could `recommend` are the instrumental Receding Recollection and Territorial Waters, a ballad like song with at last a nice electric guitar solo.

The entire album is loaded with melancholy and drama but I truly miss the real passion and musical power on this album, all the tracks are really TOO soft and predictable and even after a couple of spins I could not really enjoy myself, meaning the album does not really grow on you. It is just a run of the mill album with no musical highlights whatsoever. The single of the album The Lost Boat is also nothing more than an utterly boring acoustic song which will not storm the charts for sure.....

*+ Martien Koolen (edited by Astrid de Ronde)

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