Stars – Set Yourself On Fire

Stars

Artist: Stars
Album: Set Yourself On Fire
Label: Arts & Crafts (CA)
Purchase: Amazon
Release Date: March 8, 2005

Overall: 9.7
Music: 9.8
Lyrics: 9.4
Production: 9.8

Starsâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ breakout 2005 album, Set Yourself on Fire, starts and ends brilliantly â┚¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and itâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s pretty damn good the whole way through, too. These Canadians have almost conquered the land of perfect instrumentation. This album is where synth drums, keys, brass, strings, and your standard rock outfit instruments meet with alternating lead vocals and beautiful harmonies between two captivating voices, one male and one female. The pop act has received some notice in the past two years after opening for Death Cab for Cutie in the fall of 2005 and getting some airplay on The OC. And yet, it seems that they are still under the radar. Maybe hailing from Montreal keeps them distant from American pop culture, but the bandâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢s recipe for pop is exciting and encouraging. Stars proves that pop doesnâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t end at the tooled up synth beats (and vocals) of â┚¬Ã…”Toxic,â┚¬? nor at the power-chord reliance of pop rock (read emo and pop punk that has found, in recent years, its way to top of TRL).

Now, let me get off my high horse momentarily. Iâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ve realized that my undying love for the opener, â┚¬Ã…”Your Ex-Lover Is Dead,â┚¬? â┚¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ and perhaps this particular love results from a sleeping, but undying love for a certain someone â┚¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ often makes me forget how much I love the rest of the album. As I must listen to the whole album from start to finish for this review, I am reminded of Starsâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ ability to capture and then unleash audible beauty. This beauty ranges from the pop hooks of â┚¬Ã…”Ageless Beautyâ┚¬? to the dance-inducing beat of â┚¬Ã…”What Iâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢m Trying to Sayâ┚¬? to build-ups and dark imagery of â┚¬Ã…”One More Night.â┚¬? I could give you a few words on each of the others songs, but my little descriptions donâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢t do justice to the songs. If youâ┚¬Ã¢”ž¢ve ever liked a pop song, buy this album.

Track Listing
1. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
2. Set Yourself On Fire
3. Ageless Beauty
4. Reunion
5. The Big Fight
6. What I’m Trying To say
7. One More Night
8. Sleep Tonight
9. The First Five Times
10. He Lied About Death
11. Celebration Guns
12. Soft Revolution
13. Calendar Girl

Standout Tracks
“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead”, “Calendar Girl”, “Ageless Beauty”, “Soft Revolution”

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