Toh Kay
Streetlight Lullabies


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Allen USER (12 Reviews)
November 27th, 2011 | 29 replies


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: When in doubt, re-record your own songs

Given Tomas Kalnoky's inclination for recording retreads of his and other’s previously released material, it wouldn’t be far-fetched to believe that yet another cover album of sorts would come to life before the third record of originals dropped from Streetlight Manifesto. With this said, there isn’t anything that could add to the frustration and impatience of the Streetlight fans more than this type of release, acknowledged that 2007’s Somewhere in the Between was the last original album released by the band. Yet if anyone could continually getting away with doing such things it is Kalnoky, as most of these tracks had been written by himself either with Streetlight Manifesto, Catch 22, or Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution. Additionally, the cover of Keasbey Nights and moments of 99 Songs of Revolution: Volume I were brilliant, even if they were only consolation prizes. So here in late-2011, a new Streetlight Manifesto record is nowhere to be found, so why not continue the trend?

Under the alias of Toh Kay, Kalnoky has re-recorded several of the most proficient Streetlight Manifesto tracks, as well as two gems from Catch 22’s classic Keasbey Nights. Offering a stark contrast to the raucous energy of ska-giants Streetlight Manifesto, Streetlight Lullabies is very much a testament its name; featuring only Kalnoky on his acoustic guitar. Opting for a tranquil atmosphere rather than a folk-punk resonance, Kalnoky’s vocals shift from the raspy tone that we would expect, to a serene croon. Although off-kilter at times, Kalnoky’s fresh vocal approach brings greater emphasis to the tremendous guitar work and exceptional lyrics that many may have missed on Everything Goes Numb and Somewhere in the Between. The former aspect is possibly the most impressive facet of the record, as the tracks are often finger picked rather than strummed. Although there isn’t much to expect from a solo acoustic record musically, Streetlight Lullabies is taken to a new level by Kalnoky’s classical-esque work on “Watch it Crash” and “Would You Be Impressed?.” In fact, that latter could very well be the musical underscore of the release, as the finger picking is both tasteful and incredibly intriguing. On the opposite end of the spectrum is the following track “Sick and Sad” of Catch 22 fame, as Kalnoky turns down the metronome to develop what is a cool-mannered rendition of the turbulent original.

Yet the most affecting pieces on Streetlight Lullabies are those most celebrated Streetlight Manifesto tracks: “A Moment of Silence,” “We Will Fall Together,” “A Better Place, A Better Time,” and the classic “The Big Sleep.” Each lyrically brilliant, the new interpretations are very much “lyrics first, music second” in demeanor. The tandem of “The Big Sleep” and “A Better Place, A Better Time,” pack a potent punch with Kalnoky’s one-liners, the former heighted by its unforgettable opening: “Why do you cry when you know the story ends?” The record’s closer is arguably the only one of Kalnoky’s tracks that could rival “The Big Sleep” lyrically, as it is a heartrending plead to prevent a friend’s suicide. Each word more powerful than the last, the acoustic version of “A Better Place, A Better Time” is a difficult, but moving listen in the same.

Ultimately, the recordings in Streetlight Lullabies suffer a bit for not having the same vigorous draw of the originals, but overall create an intriguing and distinct listen. Riding Kalnoky’s refined vocals, incomparable guitar work, and poignant lyricism, this acoustic rendition of Streetlight Manifesto and Catch 22 songs is a legitimate indie-folk release. The fact that a new Streetlight record has not been released since 2007 is certain to spark frustration from the fans, but this retread is just another indication that Toh Kay can get it done at virtually any level.



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user ratings (45)
Chart.
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
pizzamachine
November 27th 2011


12572 Comments


Dude, good review.

DinosaurJones
November 27th 2011


491 Comments


Waiting for this on vinyl in the mail... hopefully it will be in tomorrow!

Rev
November 27th 2011


9441 Comments


Kalnoky**

mallen-
November 27th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ugh i hate spelling his name

Digging: Ben Howard - I Forget Where We Were

Rev
November 27th 2011


9441 Comments


Good review though


Im disappointed with the lack of Keasbey songs, though Sick and Sad is fantastic

someguest
November 27th 2011


21390 Comments


This is bad.

Digging: Pet Shop Boys - Please

Kris.
November 27th 2011


12510 Comments


disappointing
bro needs to work on some goddamn new material

but the version of would you be impressed on here rules

DinosaurJones
November 27th 2011


491 Comments


Also, as much as I love Streetlight, they are major cockteases when it comes to new material.

Actually, they're not even that. They just don't write new shit. COME ON, GUYS.

mallen-
November 27th 2011


1235 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Tom did say this summer that the new album was 3/4 done, but idk how far away the release will be

J1996
November 27th 2011


329 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Waiting for my vinyl/cd/everything package to come in the mail, I will almost certainly love it because I love Streetlight so much. Going to be at least a 4 for me.

Eko
November 28th 2011


2119 Comments


lol at summary

finally getting into streetlight

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2011


50958 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I'm fucking sick of Somewhere In The Between
Kalnoky seems to be obsessed with it

Digging: Friendzone - Collection 1

someguest
November 28th 2011


21390 Comments


AND SOMEWHERE IN THE BETWEEN

IS THE LIFE IN WHICH WE ALL DREAM

AND NOTHING AND NO ONE CAN EVER TAKE THAT AH WAY E YAY

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2011


50958 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

WOULD YOU BE UPSET
IF I KEPT RECORDING THE SAME SHIT
AND EVERY NEW ALBUM RELEASE DATE WAS A LIE

someguest
November 28th 2011


21390 Comments


OOOOOOO

MY FANS ASSES

ARE BEAT AND BRUISED

FROM MY BULLSHIT

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
November 28th 2011


50958 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sick and sad again
When will my writers block end
Sick and sad again
Sometimes
I like
To rerecord my shit

someguest
November 28th 2011


21390 Comments


I've got a song in my head
but the song just sucks
and my fingers on the pen
but the clicker seems blocked
and I can't stop staring
at my insignificant cock
and even if I could
I would never jack off

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2011


10382 Comments


Good review, I pos'd. Downloading this as I type, should have an opinion on it soon. Yeah it does tend to feel like Kalnoky thrives off the success of his successful albums, rather than venturing into other territories; that's what makes me respect musicians like Cloudkicker, who just constantly tries new things

Digging: Thou - Heathen

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
November 28th 2011


10382 Comments


Whoops double post, my bad

Maize
November 28th 2011


155 Comments


love almost everything hes done, but hes got to be one of the most pretentious dudes out there



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