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Distant Star (Double Album)

The Foreign Films

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Customer Reviews

Accessible Star

Once in a while, a first album comes along and just blows you away, so is the situation with Bill Majoros or -- in his guise as -- The Foreign Films. Distant Star is a massive debut in its intimacy and its length. Double albums are rare especially for an artist just starting out, but Majoros' is taking his cue from artists abandoning the creaking music industry machine and has released his first album himself. And what an album. Distant Star is old-fashioned in its approach. It's a pure pop album the way they used to be all the while still sounding modern. The music is eclectic, hook-ridden and simply wonderful. Most get sick of hear the term Beatlesque, but it is most appropriate here. He mixes elements of Ben Gibbard (Death Cab For Cutie, The Postal Service), Aimee Mann and Michael Penn with the psychedelic tinkering of early Sam Phillips and -- you got it -- the later Beatles. Yet with all these familiar pieces, the finished puzzle is strikingly beautiful. The album starts off with a killer song in "Remember To Forget". It is an ode to the old days of fledgling stereo with the instruments including the vocals being completely separated into left and right. From there we are transported into other realms of 60's music with "Another World Behind The Sun" which gets its groovy edge not from the recording techniques used but with swirling guitars, violins and xylophones. The real one-two punch though comes from the back-to-back yumminess of "We've Become Ghosts" and "The Sleepwalker" where Majoros throws on his black eyeliner and takes us into the 80's by adding synthesizers to his already massive arsenal of instruments and arrangements. "Ghosts" is where he channels The Postal Service quite well which is a perfect sequel to the Service's "We Will Become Silhouettes". I found "Sleepwalkers" the best song here. With an added cello, Majoros dives deeply into the melancholy form of the 70's but without the cheese. Other stand-outs include the rockers "The Lonely #1" and "Smoke And Mirrors", the almost-dance-like "The Meaning Is Lost", the 50's-sounding "The Grand Unknown" and the gorgeous love song "Cinema Lights". There are a few tracks at the end that sound like filler especially "Arcade By The Beach", but can't hardly be judged harshly when the lead-in is so amazing. Like last year's surprise debut of The Weepie's first full-length album, Say I Am You, Distant Star is a showcase of an artist yearning to make music that he loves with no compromise and it truly pays off. Bill Majoros knows what he's doing. If his debut is an indication of what's to come then as all as he keeps his experimental technique tempered with his strong song writing then it will be a pleasure to listen to his career -- much like this double album -- from beginning to end.

Distant Star (Double Album), The Foreign Films
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Pop, Music
  • Released: Sep 24, 2007

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