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Ataris, The - So Long, Astoria

The highly anticipated major label debut from The Ataris hit stores in March of 2003. The maturation of the band quickly became evident on the leadoff and title track 'So Long, Astoria' and continued throughout the album. I was shocked to hear Kris Roe's clearer, and slightly more melodic vocals, over clear a clearer, less distorted guitar sound. This was the most noticeable of the band's progression as they moved from the smaller Kung Fu Records to the giant that is Columbia. Roe continues his nostalgic theme that he started on the latter half of the band's previous release 'End Is Forever'. The album is also a bit more personal. 'My Reply' is about a fan who was fighting for her life in her hospital bed. "The Saddest Song" is about Kris's five year old daughter. The first single, 'In this Diary' is oddly reminiscent of Jimmy Eat World's 'The Middle.' The second single, 'Boys of Summer', a Don Henley cover, is catchy, and energetic, without slipping into the depths of "selling out for the label." Overall, the album was a step down from the Pop-Punk classic 'End is Forever' but nonetheless it is a solid mainstream rock album that is a hit with the radio as well as the group's loyal fans. Top Song - So Long Astoria