Friday, July 16, 2010

Review: Stars, The Five Ghosts

The Five Ghosts

For anyone who has listened to Stars’ previous records, their latest album The Five Ghosts, is a comfort. Easygoing melodies lain over catchy keyboards and guitars are welcome touches to the Canadian duo’s indie pop repertoire.

Despite attempts to update their sound with electro eighties’ style beats and punchy drums, Stars cannot evade their signature smooth effervescence. Normally a continuation of such a successful style would be happily received; however, with all members belonging to another popular band, Broken Social Scene, is it unfair to consider this consistency a bit…redundant?

Strangely enough, I must also add that the Stars format of duet is not as successful in The Five Ghosts as it has been in previous albums. In their earlier work, the combination of male and female voices felt natural and sincere. The dialogue gave depth to themes that are often overused in recorded music. However, in the recent songs, the male vocals of Torquil Campbell feel cliché, insincere, and trite. His vocals resonate with too much effort and at first listen, make the likable album sound like the a combination of Michael Bublé mixed over the soundtrack to West Side Story—the musical! And with all the death imagery, this comparison feels even more appropriate.

Speaking of all the death imagery: why is this a summer album release? Not to be picky, but this is an album to enjoy in the depths of a sad winter’s day, not during the glorious summer 2010 heat wave. Maybe up north, Canadians don’t understand the seasonal aspect of seasonal depression.

If you like Stars : you would like Asobi Seksu

Highlight Tracks : 2, 4, 10

--Charlotte Japp, Roanoke

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