Sunday, August 28, 2005

Stars - Set Yourself On Fire

First things first, lets acknowledge the the obvious comparisons with Arcade Fire, another Canadian band currently wowing the critics and the fans. There is definately the same grandiose and epic imagery on this album that there is on Funeral, but whereas Arcade Fire can be very dark, Stars take, on the surface, a much breezier approach, with more of a "pop" feel to this album.

We start off with the sublime "Your Ex Lover Is Dead" which set up the almost conversational element of the album, with lyrics which tell a story more eloquently than half of the novels currently taking up the bestseller lists. The sheer breadth of arrangements on the album is also striking; the title track breezes by in a whirlwind of strings whereas Reunion almost personifies perfect guitar pop. And no matter what instruments are playing, the quality of the songs remains the same.

Much like the recent effort from Goldfrapp, Stars never lose sight of the fact that it is the melodies that make a great pop song. And the result in a charismatic, energetic set of tunes, which cannot fail to delight anyone with a keen ear for a killer melody. It really does seem that Arcade Fire have a true contender for their crown of Canada's greatest band.

Icon's view - 4 1/2 out of 5.

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