Stars
The Five Ghosts


4.0
excellent

Review

by Adam Knott EMERITUS
July 2nd, 2010 | 17 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: No situational idiosyncrasy, no forced melodrama, just gorgeous reminders that people still care.

Nobody cares any more! It's actually become cool to pretend that you don't care. But everyone cares at least a little bit, and you know what they care about most? Love. Stars knew this in 2005 when they released the immense Set Yourself On Fire and they bled it dry on follow-up In Our Bedroom After The War two years later. So in 2010, have the Canadian indie-rock maestros given up the chase? Of course not. They still care.

Opener 'Dead Hearts' proves it. It's unapologetic in its cryptic simplicity; Campbell and Millan trade romantic questions and answers in their most precious whispers, the vocal melody breaking its own heart atop gentle picked guitar. At the chorus, the track sinks into an electronic embrace and maintains its bold dramatic edge; later it will crescendo amid elements of both faces. Welcome to The Five Ghosts, fifty percent poignant, fifty percent anthemic, and totally, utterly adorable in all of its outfits. Even softly-spoken ballad 'Changes', which in the hands of any other band would be awkward and clich├ęd, is here unmistakably beautiful, Millan's soft echoed tone perfectly conveying the uncertainty she divulges.

Stars' 2010 release comes across, even in that slightly unsteady cut, much more naturally than its immediate pre-decessor, abandoning any and all of the theatrical influence for impulsive hooks, infectious and gorgeous as ever. Campbell-led 'The Last Song Ever Written' opens married with droning ambience and drifts through end-of-the-world imagery which conjures more of an emotional vacuum than a fiery apocalypse; gone is the pretense of 'Barricade' from Bedroom replaced by something far more instinctive, something Stars have always known how to do - namely, tug at your heartstrings so gently that they strain but never break. From top to bottom, whether she's refusing sex on 'We Don't Want Your Body' or he's telling metaphorical ghost stories on 'I Died So I Could Haunt You', it's all centred around that fragile, delicate effect.

And though the ever-presence of electronics renders a semi-attentive listen blurry, the shifts in tempo and the subtle variance of tone make The Five Ghosts a near rival to the band's magnum opus, even if it lacks the truly outstanding moments Set Yourself On Fire had to offer. Simply put, it's good that somebody's still writing about love in its purest, simplest form, without feeling compelled to add situational idiosyncrasy or forced melodrama to the already complex issue. More than that, it's good that the one band consistently focussed on writing in that manner is this lovable, this innocent and this, well, good. The Five Ghosts could be seen as an indie-pop band going through the motions, if only Stars' motions weren't so pretty, so soothing, so indescribably brilliant. Take my word for it: Stars care. They always will.



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user ratings (127)
Chart.
3.6
great
other reviews of this album
Mike Stagno EMERITUS (4)
Stars release some of their most fluid and organic material to date....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Knott-
Emeritus
July 2nd 2010


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Back in the UK after 9 months abroad and this is my first proper review in freaking ages so it's probably totally shit but I'm sure the next one will be something resembling good.

Album is awesome.

Spare
July 2nd 2010


5306 Comments


don't use immense as an adjective

Digging: Best Witches - Wishes

Spare
July 2nd 2010


5306 Comments


other than good review i like stars etc.

Ponton
Emeritus
July 2nd 2010


5793 Comments


Good to see you back, and with a good review too.

Totally agree that Dead Hearts is fantastic

klap
Staff Reviewer
July 2nd 2010


10418 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

great review....KNOTT. glad you're backers my english nemesis

Enotron
July 2nd 2010


7695 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

lovely review, unfortunately I didn't care too much for this.

bailar11
July 3rd 2010


2433 Comments


excellent review knott. why youre #1 on enriques list anyhow.

Vermeer
July 3rd 2010


141 Comments


good work. mr. pos

AggravatedYeti
July 3rd 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

review makes me want to like this album a lot more.

Knott-
Emeritus
July 3rd 2010


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

stop trying to like it and youll probably like it more

AggravatedYeti
July 3rd 2010


7685 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

that's what I'm doing!! : (

'Bedroom' didn't click until I saw them, I'm expecting the same out of this.

CelestialDust
July 4th 2010


3155 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

super pos
This is the first stars album i've heard and it has struck a chord with me. The end of I died so I can haunt you is so so so good


Kiran
Emeritus
July 7th 2010


6001 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

dead hearts wow must get this

Donkey
July 20th 2010


152 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Starts dying off at the end... bummer

GulliKyro
August 25th 2010


357 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Its a album full of soaring redemptive moments I find impossible to resist. The review is spot on.

StreetlightRock
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


3768 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really like what SPIN wrote about this album: "The problem with the band's entire approach is treating the romantic entanglements of earnest bobos as matters of terminal importance".

Digging: Interpol - El Pintor

Knott-
Emeritus
August 25th 2010


10195 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I don't think that's a problem at all I think it's cute and awesome.



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