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Album Review: Toh Kay - Streetlight Lullabies
by Nate Seto

Streetlight Manifesto has a way of teasing its fans; Anticipation for their albums always seems to be a rampant, relentless affair. Add to that their re-releases (Keasbey Nights Volume 2), covers (99 Songs of Revolution), and side projects (Bandits of the Acoustic Revolution) and you’ve got a hungry fanbase desperate for new material. Once again, lead singer Tomas Kalnoky delivers rehashes of old material, this time in the form of acoustic “lullaby” renditions of various songs from the three full-lengths. However, don’t think that the album is just a cheap cash-in for the touted ska-punk vocalist; it’s a fleshed out, deep re-imagining of Streetlight’s old work.

For “Lullabies,” these songs are surprisingly refreshing. Kalnoky puts his own distinctive spin on each of the songs that makes them more than simply stripped-down versions of the full-band efforts. All of the songs are solely played by him and his guitar. Hearing “Sick and Sad” slowed down and sung is an enjoyably different experience. Indie and folk-rock fans should definitely jump on this.

I know what’s on the mind of most Streetlight fans when listening to this album; “This is boring.” There are no blaring horns, soaring shout-a-longs and beating drums. However, what these fans should keep in mind is that this is not a traditional Streetlight release. Kalnoky released this under his pseudo-name for a reason, as he obviously felt that the songs wouldn’t be appropriate if they were released under the Streetlight name. Give the songs a chance. Skeptics should listen to “The Big Sleep” and “A Better Place, a Better Time.”

Streetlight may still be holding off on releasing new material but this album should appease fans that love all Streetlight-related material, as well as indie and folk-rock fans. It’s a relaxing and heartfelt effort by one of ska-punk’s big names. Many might see this as just Streetlight’s way of holding over hungry fans in anticipation of their new album (tentatively dated for next year), but rest assured this is a quality release that can be enjoyed by mostly everyone.