Thursday, April 14, 2011

Stars - The Five Ghosts (2010)

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My introduction to Stars came during a conversation at a college party about 2 years ago between me and probably the only other sober person there. After bonding over the host's choice of music (The Slackers was playing when we actually met), he asked me if I had heard of Stars. I hadn't and quickly remedied that after leaving. My accomplice made it explicitly clear that I had to listen to Set Yourself on Fire as it was arguably the greatest example of what to expect from the Canadian quintet and to this day remains my utmost favorite Stars album. But Stars' latest release The Five Ghosts ranks pretty high up there.

The Five Ghosts is a perfect example of what Stars does best. At times featuring slow, stirring heart-on-your-sleeve ballads and others dazzlingly danceable, synth-heavy electropop. The whole album hovers in the exploration of a sort of supernatural element most evident in "Dead Hearts" and "I Died So I Could Haunt You" while also exploring the breakdown in relationships that so characteristically Stars in "Fixed" and "We Don't Want Your Body", there's also some endearing upbeat moments like "Wasted Daylight".

The Five Ghosts is trademark Stars and that's not necessarily a bad thing. The new album follows a "If it ain't broke..." mentality, instead offering up it's true uniqueness in the form of clever occasionally tongue-in-cheek lyrics and memorable, hummable melodies. And really, that's all Stars really needs.

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