Stars
Set Yourself On Fire


4.0
excellent

Review

by Andrew H. EMERITUS
June 14th, 2005 | 45 replies | 23,155 views


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist


Canada must be one of the greatest countries in the world for rock music. In the past few years, we've heard excellent releases from Canadian bands such as Broken Social Scene, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, The Arcade Fire and now Stars. In truth, 'Set Yourself on Fire' is the third release from Stars and follows up their excellent sophomore effort, "Heart".

Stars:

Torquil Campbell - Vocals, Keyboards and Trumpet
Amy Millan - Vocals, Guitar
Evan Cranley - Bass, Guitar, Trombone
Chris Seligman - Keyboards, Programming, French Horn

Boasting members of Broken Social Scene and hailing as an indie band from Canada, Stars were well on their way to greatness. The group's last record, "Heart" was a great album and "Set Yourself On Fire" builds upon the success of "Heart". Like many indie bands, Stars focus on creating enjoyable music that is good for both the mind and the emotions. With "Set Yourself On Fire", Stars create and excellent sound, one that is upbeat, catchy and fun, while still being clever. The band are all good musicians and every member appears on at least two instruments. Though they may not seem to be the most subtle band (much of this album includes epic string arrangements, brass parts and huge keyboard sounds), it is often the subtlties of songs that make them what they are. For example, "One More Night" doesn't truly develop until a small background electronic noise enters the song. While it may not sound like much, it is what makes the song. "Set Yourself On Fire" boasts cover art that bears an uncanny resembelence to "The Earth Is Not A Cold Dead Place", the latest album from Explosions In The Sky. While it is remarkably similar, it is nonetheless effective and makes an impact.

The album's artwork can be compared to the music. While it is not overly original or unique and owes a lot to a range of influences, Stars create their own sound and use it to great effect. After all, what matters on an album such as this is not originality, but how effective the songs are. Stars prodly wear their influences on their sleeves, the whole album smells of Simon and Garfunkel or The Pet Shop Boys while songs like "Sleep Tonight" are obvious tributes to My Bloody Valentine. This album is a good representation of the last 15 years in Indie. There is even a progressive song; "The Big Fight" (one of the album's best songs) changes mid-song in a manner similar to David Gray's "Please Forgive Me". The biggest criticism with "Set Yourself On Fire" is it's length. Being an album of 13 songs, there are some tracks that really don't need to be there. All the same, these songs are by no means bad or boring, it's just that the album would work better with say, 9 or 10 songs, rather than a whole 13. All in all, Stars create some excellent indie songs with their own sound. It's all here, the shoegaze type production, the pretty female vocals, the soft male vocals, the catchy riffs and basslines and the cool drumming. "Set Yourself On Fire" is, without a doubt, one of the best albums of the year.

Pros

- Great use of instruments
- Catchy songs
- A good mix of sounds

Cons

- The "filler"


Reccomended Tracks

Set Yourself On Fire
Reunion
One More Night

FINAL RATING: 4/5



Recent reviews by this author
White Suns Waking in the ReservoirPurplene Purplene
Quiet Steps Think AloudGrinderman Grinderman 2
Jakob DominionNorma Jean Meridional
user ratings (254)
Chart.
3.9
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
pixiesfanyo
June 14th 2005



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I say 3.5

Some of the tracks are just horrendous.

One More Night and the Intro are fantastic though.

mx
Moderator
June 14th 2005



733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album is good, but I wouldn't call it one of the best of the year. Has some amazing songs though.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 14th 2005



2125 Comments


I doubt it will be one of the best by the end of the year. At this point, I'd say it is though.

Happymeal
June 16th 2005



330 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Like pixies said, some tracks are kind of weak, but it's a good good album all the same. A little more than a 3.5 for me.

morrissey
Moderator
June 16th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I was listening to Heart earlier today, and I realised I had never given it a proper listen. It's a great album.

I downloaded this album from YSI today, haven't had a chance to listen but based on some comments it's probably worth purchasing.

Very nice review as always, though it isn't worth saying.

P.S. Toronto represent. :cool:

Med57
Moderator
June 20th 2005



1001 Comments


I'm with the majority of people here. At times, this album is extraordinarily good. As if in one of the best of the year. If they'd taken a few songs off, then it actually would be one of the best of the year, but it is let down a bit. Still good stuff though.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 21st 2005



2125 Comments


I don't see a single fault with this album, besides 2 or 3 tracks.

pixiesfanyo
June 21st 2005



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's cuz ur gay.

lolz.

Some of the tracks are just too typical and not catchy I guess.

I don't know. There is alot of filler.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 21st 2005



2125 Comments


lolz

I suppose. I dunno. I really think that this album is da bomb.This Message Edited On 06.21.05

pixiesfanyo
June 21st 2005



1222 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

*da

morrissey
Moderator
September 27th 2005



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've been listening to this a lot lately, I bought it after a few listens. I agree with some of the filler comments but the good songs are damn good.

Zmev
September 27th 2005



983 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Me likes it.

woofwoofwoof
September 27th 2005



156 Comments


i'm seeing them with death cab for cutie in october. if stars werent going, i probably wouldnt go.

its from arts & crafts! its gotta be good!

woofwoofwoof
October 26th 2005



156 Comments


highlights:

1. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead
2. Set Yourself On Fire
3. Ageless Beauty
6. What I'm Trying to Say
11. Celebration Guns
13. Calendar Girl

analrightstart
December 4th 2005



96 Comments


Your ex-lover is dead = brilliantesque

morrissey
Moderator
January 27th 2006



1688 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

One More Night is probably my favourite song on this album, I really like the ending to "Set Yourself on Fire", and "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead"'s greatness is only compounded by the fact that he name drops a bridge in my city which I myself have driven over many times.

Morvit
January 28th 2006



71 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

whoa the user ratings are so solid....like all 4s and 3.5s, the first two songs really gets you into the albumThis Message Edited On 01.28.06

br3ad_man
Emeritus
January 29th 2006



2125 Comments


I still listen to this sometimes. That's a credit to Stars, because I listened to the crap out of this when I got it and whenever I do that, I usually can't listen to albums anymore.

Med57
Moderator
January 29th 2006



1001 Comments


I started listening to it again the other day...I completely forgot I had it on my mp3 player. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead really is a great song.

mx
Moderator
January 29th 2006



733 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I started listening to it again the other day...I completely forgot I had it on my mp3 player. Your Ex-Lover Is Dead really is a great song.


That's the best song on the album



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2013 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy