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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stars - The Five Ghosts
When it comes to crafting melodramatic, cinematic pop music, Stars are in a league of their own. Though they may not have recaptured the jubilation of their career high point, Set Yourself On Fire, Stars have put together another very nice album that fits snuggly into the overarching theme of Stars music. If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed that Stars...
Published on June 22, 2010 by Andrew Vice

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK
I really like Stars, but this album was a bit disappointing. Many of songs sound the same and its kind of dull. Can they top the last two albums? I don't know - I don't think they tried too hard on this one though!
Published on July 24, 2010 by Rob Lawson


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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stars - The Five Ghosts, June 22, 2010
This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
When it comes to crafting melodramatic, cinematic pop music, Stars are in a league of their own. Though they may not have recaptured the jubilation of their career high point, Set Yourself On Fire, Stars have put together another very nice album that fits snuggly into the overarching theme of Stars music. If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed that Stars started as a synth-heavy pop band and slowly transformed into a symphonic pop rock band, but recently they've been returning back to that first sound, as heard on their excellent Sad Robots EP, which was awash with synthesizer and distorted-beyond-recognition guitars. The Five Ghosts has continued the trend, leaving behind some of Stars signature orchestration in favor of the sound of their early-career works. However, unlike the early career in which Torquil was the primary singer, this album stands as a showcase for the incredible vocal talents of Amy Millan, who I personally think is the best female vocalist in popular music. She lives and breathes the heartbroken vocal melodies heard throughout the record, and Torq takes a backseat, providing ample vocal support but leading only a few of the eleven tracks. This is an album for Stars fans, not one designed to bring as many new ones into the fold. Not their strongest effort and sadly likely to be ignored in a year full of stellar releases, the Five Ghosts is nonetheless a record worth listening to, owning, and cherishing as part of the excellent Stars canon.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Stars shining, June 30, 2010
This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
Stars is probably one of the most underappreciated bands of the decade. They have produced such great albums as 'Set Yourself On Fire' or 'Heart' which have been aclaimmed by the critics, however, the audience is relatively very small these days. And I feel sorry for that because this album also proves that Stars need more fame and applause then they get.

I would begin with that this album mostly reminds me of the album 'Heart'. Which is great, in my opinion. The band stays on track and keep themselves what they really are. I would say that any of the Stars fan should not be disappointed by buying this.

However, at the first few listens the record seemed to be a little bit boring and songs alike each other. Yet I did not give up and now after listening to 'Five Ghosts' like ten times I enjoy it a lot and this album would go into my TOP album list of the year.

Anyone who is new to Stars could start with this album, because it is a little bit more pop than others and quite easily approached compared to other albums.

I might agree that this album ain't perfect, however, yet it is my soundtrack of the summer days. I believe it could be yours too. Buy it!

Key tracks:
- Dead Hearts
- Wasted Daylight
- Changes
- The Passenger
- Winter Bones
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunted by Five Ghosts, July 5, 2010
This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
While not an evolutionary jump from their previous work, Five Ghosts does a nice job of combining simple melodies and arrangements with direct lyrical composition to create another solid album. And, as solid for Stars means "Gold", this album does not disappoint.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great mellow tunes, August 25, 2010
This review is from: The Five Ghosts (MP3 Music)
I confess that I am not a die hard Stars fan as some other reviewers. I got drawn to the band after listening to "Going going gone" (what a chilling song!) and "This charming man" of Nightsongs on the radio, then recently picked up this album after listening to "The passenger" , again on the radio (Thank you KCRW!).

I just picked up "Set yourself on fire" after listening to "The five ghosts". I know I may receive death threats, but I have to say I enjoy this album more than the highly acclaimed "Set yourself on fire". Yes it's more mainstream, yes it's more "pop", but yes I found myself listening to the first 8 songs all in one sitting (and the last 3 songs are not bad... just not as catchy as the first 8).

Who cares if they switched label? Who cares if the album sounds "pop"? I'm happy as long as they are not Queen, post-Freddie Mercury era.

Oh, and I absolutely adore the electric solo bit in the middle of the both verses on "We don't want your body".
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a bizarre and beautiful little album!, August 19, 2011
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This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
I have to admit I picked this one up on a whim after an Amazon recommendation, and I'm so glad I did! I'd never listened to them before, but I am always anxious for new music that isn't Top 40. This album definitely delivered and I'm in love with them now.

This is a bizarre, morbid little album with haunting lyrics in songs like Dead Hearts and I Died So I Could Haunt You. And sometimes the music is equally eerie. I love the charm of the lead male and female vocalists - but sometimes the music sounded a bit loud and over powering.

My favorite tune has to be #7 - Changes. I can listen to it over and over again and I never get tired of it. The lyric and vocal really shine through here.

Since I'm not familiar with the group before this album, I can only suggest this to newcomers looking for something different, but I definitely plan to search out some of the group's older stuff now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dead Hearts for Lively listeners, December 29, 2012
This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
Five Ghosts may not be a groundbreaking album at first glance, however once you start listening to the album again, it becomes a complex maze of musical intricacies that leads you to the climax and gently settles you back down onto the bay of each song. I, as an adamant indie listener, have come to expect a lot from Canadian artists as you might imagine. Stars is no exception to that rule. I have followed this band for years and have never been disappointed. Interestingly enough, i actually learned of this album release from watching an episode of Degrassi with my niece. For those degrassi fans out there that want to know where this is in the series, it is in the episode where Drew turns himself over to the police after getting involved with a gang. Dead Hearts starts playing at the end of the episode when he looks at Bianca.

The moment i heard the first voice, i could tell by the recognizable inflection of the male voice that it was stars and i went down to my local record shop to buy a copy. I fell in love with this album the instant that i heard the rest of Dead Hearts. The eerie way the song starts out draws you in and then successfully leads you to a climax of what sounds like a hundred instruments playing in tandem. Its intricate composition and graceful transitions from one part to the other weren't what really drew me to this album though. What really captivated me was the way the lyrics danced with the music. As always, Stars has done a fabulous job with writing lyrics that intrigue and entrance the mind. This doesn't surprise me, but just leaves me hopeful and excited for their next release.

For all these reasons and many more, I give Five Ghosts a 5/5 stars.

Tracks to watch out for and listen to time and time again:
1. Dead Hearts
2. Changes
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stars are coming of age, September 10, 2010
By 
Guy Rogers (Calgary, Canada) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
This is certainly a more crafted and produced album from Stars. Not as 'pop' as previous albums and as the title reflects slightly darker of tone. A very enjoyable listen from it's first play.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Hearts Are Everywhere, August 7, 2010
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This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
A good album stays with you long after you stop listening and such is the case for me, at least, with Five Ghosts. I've been a fan of Stars and the various artists from the Canadian Arts and Crafts group for a few years and love the artists in their various forms and incarnations.

Stars albums always have a operatic/cinematic quality that tells a story with mysterious emotional undertones.

I've listened to this album seven or eight times and am still looking for the deeper story that I haven't caught onto yet. The time is the present, but the ghosts call back to old memories and regrts. Amy Milan could sing the telephone directory and make it sound amazing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not Stars' Best, But Still Good, August 1, 2010
By 
kev (Austin, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
Despite the fact that this album is not really typical Stars, it's still worth checking out. Yes it's somewhat dark, but it's nice to have something new from the band. It would be boring if they just rehashed their past successes, so I appreciate that they're trying something new. But I think the formula worked a bit better on Sad Robots EP.

There are some highlights that redeem the lack of diversity throughout the album, such as 'Fixed', 'The Passenger,' 'Changes', and 'Dead Hearts'. I will be enjoying this album for many years. As far as Stars albums go, this is probably 3 1/2 stars, but compared to the rest of the music industry it deserves 4.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Breathy, electronic chamber pop, August 27, 2010
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This review is from: Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
Stars fifth album, "The Five Ghosts" is a sweet, haunting dish. Much like Sad Robots EP, it's dark and melodramatic. "Dead Hearts" is my favourite track off the album, pure poetry. This album is quite a bit different from "Set Yourself On Fire" and "In Our Bedroom After the War" which are my favourite albums by Stars. This band hailing from Montreal do not disappoint in this follow up. If you love Stars, check it out and enjoy.
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Five Ghosts
Five Ghosts by Stars (Audio CD - 2010)
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