Northstar
Pollyanna


5.0
classic

Review

by Eric USER (161 Reviews)
December 11th, 2009 | 61 replies


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pollyanna hit me, it hit me hard. Seemingly materializing out of nowhere, was Pollyanna simply a testament to the ability of the right album hitting you in the right place at the right time?

... or is it the classic album that I'll always hold personal to me?

Well, out of shuffle on my Ipod if you want to be specific about the origin of Northstar in relation to me. Sitting on my roof at 3 in the morning and shallowly wallowing in my apathy as I smoked my penultimate cigar wasn’t bringing me contentment, but what was about to grace my lucky ears definitely would.

Let me give you a little background. This was a defining musical period for me, not to mention a defining personal period. To make a short story shorter, everything I cared about was either slowly waning away or stabbing me in my tired back, and I felt solitarily confined to the few pleasures that were stable and brought me a ephemeral sense of contentment, the most poignant of these being music. My taste soon developed from the smooth croons of Anthony Keidis and Julian Casablancas to the spidery warble of Elliott Smith and the angst of Jesse Lacey. I found empathy in their voices, and our common misfortune seemed all too familiar. As I soon learned, apathy is an ugly type of monster. It closes you off from your surroundings as you begin to fall through the floor in a pool of quicksand, and in my case one of misfortune and misery. Struggle, and you only make things harder on yourself, I found. As I was exploring outlets for my emotions, I luckily stumbled upon a gem that would subtly changed the course of my psyche.

Northstar - Pollyanna

the song read. As I sat there in silence, it was literally the only thing that had brought a genuine smile to my face. Dramatic, I know, but it was a very dramatic time in my life. Anyways, Northstar defied most of the conventions that I held about music. I was growing into more complex music (well, if you count The Mars Volta as complex), more depressing and somber things (Elliott Smith, Sunny Day Real Estate), and I was so taken aback that such seemingly simple music (I mean pop-punk?! really?!) could affect me so deeply. I was immediately riveted by pure emotion and smooth delivery in the lines sung by Nick Torres,

“So this is how it ends, toxic and deliberate
She's blood red at the neck boiling off fingerprints
This hospital love is making death seem elegant
‘Just don't breathe and we'll stop time’
She said....”


that’s all it took, not years of listening, just a few lines and the impact was felt- all it took for me to know this was going to be a colossal effect on my life. Everywhere I went, everything I did, there was Pollyanna. Singing to myself in the car was the spectacular chorus, “You look so lovely, running through my fingers, running through my fingers,” from “Pollyanna,” or “And I’ll be the reason, you’ll leave this city,” off of “The Pornographer’s Daughter.” What’s that playing in my ear as my feet pound on the ground during a midnight run? Lo and behold, it’s the, “You move like I’ve, got new feet,” off of immense opener, “For Members Only.” It amazed me that such simplistic music could have such an effect on me, and after the initial reaction of refusing to believe it, I let the it in. I let in the guitar-driven band from Alabama. I gave their catchy sex-infused lyrics a major chance. The pop-punk done right on Pollyanna infiltrated every facet of my life. Instead of giving me a reason to mope around contemplating my existence, I was care-free when listening to “American Living.” I’m completely aware now (and was then, actually) how completely cliche and even intensely shallow this realization is, but I couldn’t help that Pollyanna had such an unexpected effect on me. The titanic choruses and powerful drumming gave me infinite amounts of energy. The dark, catchy one-liners gave me a little smirk here or there. Yes, Pollyanna and Northstar were big contributors to contemporaries like Taking Back Sunday, but my infatuation had nothing to do with this kind of merit. In retrospect, their sound is relatively generic. Catchy choruses, snotty vocal delivery, or strong guitar riffs weren’t the most experimental thing to hit the music scene.

It’s hard to declare what exactly hit me that one night on the roof and the subsequent fascination with Northstar. I know I’ll never quite be able to put my finger on what makes this record so special to me, but I feel pretty confident chalking one up to delivery. This will always be one of the most sincere sounds I’ve ever heard, and incredibly consistent, too. With the exception of “Digital Me,” there’s not one song on here I don’t feel a personal connection to, which is an amazing feat and reserved for only the most moving of records. I realize this is by no means an objective “classic” record, I’m absolutely fine with that, it doesn’t need to be, but I refuse to believe the intense feelings that Pollyanna has given me over years of sadness and subsequent recovery from aforementioned situation stops at me. Whether it’s simply the expressive, sincere nature of this record that gets me every time, or the incredible accessibleness of every song, or perhaps it’s because “Two Zero Two” is simply one of the best songs ever written, but there’s definitely something special about Pollyanna Who knows? Possibly it was simply the right record at the right time in the right place?- but I’d rather believe I truly discovered something special that defining night alone on my roof on a chilly night.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
SeaAnemone
December 11th 2009


21405 Comments


Please excuse the incredibly personal, non-professionality of this, it was entirely 100% self indulgent for my #50.

Athom
Emeritus
December 11th 2009


17241 Comments


i wuv u.

“Two Zero Two” is simply one of the best songs ever written

this

SeaAnemone
December 11th 2009


21405 Comments


horribly written, scattered, unclear, and I don't give a shit, this album is the FUCKING shit, and it's my 50th review, I DO WHAT I WANT K?

and thanks adam ; )

XulOnerom
December 11th 2009


1818 Comments


I really liked your review

Really enjoyable to read. Might check this out

SeaAnemone
December 11th 2009


21405 Comments


Thanks- and if you like music, please do.

Ponton
Emeritus
December 11th 2009


6117 Comments


This is a fantastic review. I've heard a lot about this album and need to find it somewhere.

Digging: Ian William Craig - Centres

Wildcatforever
December 11th 2009


441 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

completely agree with this review. awesome job .

EVedder27
December 12th 2009


6088 Comments


I personally really like these kind of reviews. And this one is great.

SeaAnemone
December 12th 2009


21405 Comments


Wow thanks for the feedback guys! I really appreciate it considering I had no idea how Sputnik would receive this.

Foxhound
December 12th 2009


4571 Comments


Always thought this band was generic..

Ricven
December 12th 2009


207 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Nice to see Northstar getting some love.

SeaAnemone
December 12th 2009


21405 Comments


Nice to see all the ratings on this page 4.5 or above.

Yotimi
December 12th 2009


7371 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review as usual my man. Don't know why I haven't checked this out yet.

SeaAnemone
December 12th 2009


21405 Comments


Never heard this Yotimi? I think you'd like it... it probably won't reach IARB or Saves the Day level for you, but it's still great

TheEnforcer
January 2nd 2010


270 Comments


Yeah I had read this before and I enjoyed it. Nice 50th review pos'd

Waior
February 2nd 2010


11630 Comments


This slipped past by without me noticing - despite that, happy belated 50th review, this is certainly a piece of writing worthy the semi-centennial you awarded it.

JustDont
February 21st 2010


125 Comments


Wow. Glad I found this. It's really good. Really really fucking good.

Skyler
February 21st 2010


1084 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Check out their first album next.

SeaAnemone
February 21st 2010


21405 Comments


I'm glad people like this as much as I do. And their debut is great, but not Pollyanna great.

SeaAnemone
March 26th 2010


21405 Comments


guys listen to this, k? k



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