Album Title: Set Yourself on Fire
Release Date: October 12, 2004
Genre: Indie Rock
The music of Stars comes with a lot of baggage because of their member-swapping/knee-buckling tendencies with their playmates in Broken Social Scene. Yet while vocalist Amy Millan and bassist Evan Cranley were off in the sandbox during late 2003, Torquil Campbell hung back in Montreal and hatched a blueprint for the solid-as-fleck Set Yourself on Fire. Stars play a dreamy strand of indie rock that leans heavily on 1980's new wave acts like New Order and I guess, Ultravox plus Belle and Sebastian, Air, The Delfonics and some other bands whose names I forget. Campbell has added half a pound of breadcrumbs to the batter in attempts to thicken the Stars' sound, at least relative to their last effort, the preciously-titled Heart, and for the most part, it serves the band well. The lead-off single "Ageless Beauty", case in point. Anchored by driving guitars and balanced by Millan's breathy vocals, it's a pretty sweet tune that threatens to rock at intervals 1c, 1d and 1g. Likewise, there's a massive guitar/keyboard freakout during "He Lied About Death"ˇTHAT was quite unexpected. And then there's the song titles: "Celebration Guns", "The Big Fight" and the damning "Your Ex-Lover is Dead". Yes, Campbell is trying to take this up a notch but let's get real for a second. This is still music for chicks and sensitive fanboys, plain and simple. And Stars do THAT kind of music very well.

Writer: Cameron Gordon

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