In the wake of its 1986 album HEYDAY (arguably the finest album of the band's first phase of existence), '80s college rock fave the Church found itself in a position to capitalize on its success. Its follow-up album, STARFISH (1988), contains some of the band's biggest hits, including "Under the Milky Way," while in no way compromising the band's artistic stance--making it one of a notable group of albums that bridge the gap between critical acclaim and commercial success while making absolutely no discernable changes to the artist's sound.
Nearly every track is remarkable. The album opener, "Destination" features an epic psychedelic flavor, the spacious dual guitars of Peter Koppes and Marty Willson-Piper, and Steve Kilbey's arresting lyrical imagery ("In the space between our bodies / The air has grown small fingers"). The above-mentioned "Under the Milky Way" features a bagpipe during its rather spectacular instrumental break. Willson-Piper's "Spark" is an upbeat and strikingly lush pop song. "Reptile" features stunning reverb-drenching guitar work. The list goes on--this is a wonderful record by a band at the height of its powers.
CMJ (1/5/04, p.22) - Ranked #4 in CMJ's "Top 20 Most-Played Albums of 1988"