Stars
No One Is Lost


3.0
good

Review

by scottpilgrim10 USER (13 Reviews)
October 10th, 2014 | 15 replies


Release Date: 2014 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Nostalgia gets the best of Stars this time around.

No One Is Lost’s retro pop sound is a fitting soundtrack to adolescent nights at the local roller rink. The faint melodies combined with the male and female vocal dynamic makes for a winning combination some of the time. While instantly accessible the records’s synths are quite subtle making for a relaxed and easygoing first listen. The guitar driven dance pop found on Star’s latest outing never stands out, its only purpose being to lay the groundwork for all the bittersweet synths or melancholic vocal deliveries utilized by the band’s co lead singers, but background music can only go so far. Without its supplement material, No One Is Lost fails to stand on it’s own.

The chilled out synths can be grandiose on bombastic on certain choruses like on “Trap Door”, but overall they are pretty middling. The production waters down any distinctive aspects of the instrumentation on the album. Like the saxophone used on the track previously mentioned is obviously a sax, but they just had to take away any distinctive or intriguing aspects in order to compliment the understated synths. It’s as if they’re afraid of being anything but background music, never wanting to stand out or have its time in the limelight. When everything sounds so similar there isn’t much for the listener to take away. The drumming on this album while also soft and understated keeps the beat well, and often outshines the other musical aspects found here.

Lyrically, the album is very optimistic, fondly describing nights spent clubbing while chasing young love. At times profound and often spontaneous, No One Is Lost’s lyrics are more intelligent than your average dance club fodder and should be praised accordingly. Lead vocalists Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan play off each other fine, but they could have done so much more. When they are singing the same note with no differences in key signatures, their contrasting vocal ranges never really result in a memorable harmony. Neither singer gives it their all, vocally during any point of the album. No One’s Lost is a pretty mundane affair in the singing department, and it doesn’t help when the synths you’re singing to are generic and at times cheesy, often showing a striking resemblance to pop classics of yore.

With this progression in sound, it feels like Stars are more than just paying homage to their influences. Not that paying homage to your favorite artists is a bad thing, it’s just that you have to add some sort of new spin or something original to the genre so it doesn’t come across as a complete rip off. The silver lining to be found on the record is its exceptional lyrical content, that goes above and beyond most dance records. No One Is Lost’s love for 80’s pop and laid back production style results in a superficial experience that promises nights of rambunctious fun, but ultimately can’t deliver.



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user ratings (19)
2.7
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
scottpilgrim10
October 10th 2014


4750 Comments


Stream the record here: http://www.npr.org/2014/10/05/352735184/first-listen-stars-no-one-is-lost

Feedback is appreciated.

Supercoolguy64
October 10th 2014


9206 Comments


noyce review mate

Athom
Emeritus
October 10th 2014


17242 Comments


I've had this sitting in my car stereo for a few weeks and i dunno what to think of it. It's nice, but man oh man does it lack the emotional punch of their first three records.

scottpilgrim10
October 11th 2014


4750 Comments


Supercooldude64 Thanks :D your latest review was nice as well, I gave it a pos.

Athom. I thought less and less of the record after each spin. It doesn't feel very genuine to me, but it's still enjoyable.



ExplosiveOranges
October 11th 2014


4408 Comments


"Without it’s supplement material, No One Is Lost fails to stand on it’s own."

It's = It is

Its = Possessive

"Lyrically the album is very optimistic describing fondly nights spent clubbing while chasing young love"

Sentence is phrased awkwardly. How about "Lyrically, the album is very optimistic, fondly describing nights spent clubbing while chasing young love".

"their contrasting vocal ranges never really results in a memorable harmony."

*result

Good review overall.

Supercoolguy64
October 11th 2014


9206 Comments


@scott thanks man

scottpilgrim10
October 11th 2014


4750 Comments


Thanks ExplosiveOranges, I'll fix it as soon as I can use my laptop.

Supercooldude64 no problem

amanwithahammer
October 11th 2014


585 Comments


Is that really the cover art of a Stars album, good god

scottpilgrim10
October 11th 2014


4750 Comments


lol it is pretty flamboyant for Stars

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 11th 2014


11762 Comments


great review Nick, it was an enjoyabel read.

"but they just had to take away any distinctive or intriguing aspects to in turn compliment the understated synths"

the "to in turn" bit is awkward, I think "in order to" or something similar should be used instead.

"With this progression in sound, it feels like Stars are more than just paying homage to their influences."

I think you meant to say 'are doing nothing more than" because your next sentence goes on to semi-defend paying homage, otherwise this sentence in itself would be a compliment.

"Not that paying homage to your favorite artists is a bad thing, it’s just that you have to add some sort of new spin or something original to the genre, so it doesn’t come across as a complete rip off."

get rid of the last comma



Digging: Count Shirintsu - Spirit of the Earth

scottpilgrim10
October 11th 2014


4750 Comments


Thanks ScuroFantasma. I was actually hinting that they were ripping off their influences instead of paying homage to them, but maybe that isn't clear enough. But I changed the "to in turn" into "in order to", and I got rid of the comma.

mvdu
October 11th 2014


799 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes it's their most danceable album and less emotional, but they always did catchy so well that in my opinion the album works. Only a couple duds including "You Keep Going Up" that doesn't go anywhere.

ScuroFantasma
Staff Reviewer
October 12th 2014


11762 Comments


"I was actually hinting that they were ripping off their influences instead of paying homage to them"

oh okay, for some reason I thought it was worded as a compliment, that they were "more than just paying homage" I read it as meaning that they pay homage and do their own thing as well or something but no it makes sense now.

EnyaFangirl
October 13th 2014


1799 Comments


I thought The North was pretty good to be honest. I'm not really feeling this one. Dunno if I can muster the energy to listen to this again. The "weird cousin" of the Stars family, if you will.

TheEnygma
July 9th 2015


83 Comments


I think it's an alright album though on iTunes when I checkmark the songs I like, there wasn't a lot from this one o_0 but title track is ace, especially Amy in the chorus



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