This might come off as hugely biased because of my deep love for this band. They’re from my home city, they draw influence from some of my favorite bands and I’ve been into them for years now. I can remember dating this girl that was totally into hardcore and I made her listen to Your Ex-Lover is Dead and she hated it. Then it was “cool to be indie” and all of a sudden the cunt “loves” Stars. Well if you’re reading this: Fuck you. You’re fake.
So what was the point of that rant? Don’t like this band because it’s the “in” thing. I covet them. This is why I was a little apprehensive in my excitement for the follow up to Set Yourself on Fire. They couldn’t possibly get better, could they? Fuck yes they can. And did. The intro, entitled The Beginning After the End is the first intro that garnered repeat listens since the intro on Brand New’s Deja Entendu. The next two songs are The Night Starts Here and Take me to the Riot which are the popiest songs on the album. And both work rather well and could easily be radio friendly. My Favourite Book is a song about those little things you come accustomed to when you’re in love and it’s one of the albums best. It brings out all the things you know about your significant other and how those little things are so lovely.
Here comes one of the highest points of the album. Midnight Coward hits you with a Smiths-like start and grabs a hold of your hand and never lets it go. The Amy Millan-Torquil Campbell tandem shines brightest as they bounce verses off each other. To say this isn’t the highest point is saying something. The highest point comes from the tandem as they break out Personal on us. That track can be found on my previous post. The song is striking and slow as it tells the tale of a personal ad and the meeting that never takes place. Unfortunately Barricade, Campbell’s solo track fails for me. His voice seems overly loud in an attempt to sound booming.
Fortunately Amy Millan’s solo Window Bird is outstanding. The quiet intensity in her voice slowly rises at it reaches it’s climax. The idea of sex is always on the back of the band’s mind and it’s hidden well in the somewhat cheery music. But the lyrics are always provocative. This song is the genius of Stars. Life 2: The Unhappy Ending (sequel to Life Effect?) puts the duo to the test lyrically again with stellar results. Something about that piano…
Hands down my favorite album of the year thus far. The album isn’t an evolving of their music but a celebration of it. Nobody does “beautifully dark” like them. If you love Stars it’s the next step in the revolution of their music. If you’re new to them welcome aboard. Just love them because of their greatness and not cause it’s hip. See you at Osheaga. Rating: 9/10