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In Our Bedroom After the War

34 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 25, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

On September 25, Stars will release their fourth studio album, In Our Bedroom After The War. It's Stars' most confident and compelling work to date, an album that showcases the seven years of experience they share as a band. It was recorded at the Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, BC and mixed by Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes, The Shins, Morrissey). For a limited time, In Our Bedroom After The War will include a bonus DVD featuring a 55-minute documentary of Stars' live performances and interviews while touring Set Yourself on Fire.

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Montreal's Stars are certainly a theatrical bunch (and not just because co-frontman Torquil Campbell is also an actor). Their passionate delivery of love and breakup songs--often sung dialogue-style between male frontman Campbell and female lead Amy Millan--is a compelling combination of musicianship and dramatic intensity. In Our Bedroom After the War is similar in style to Set Yourself on Fire--albeit a little gentler and more intimate in tone--capturing the many varied elements that Stars do best. "Midnight Coward" begins with Millan's gentle voice singing "sweetness never suits me," then eventually expands into an abundant, symphonic-sounding conclusion. "The Ghost of Genova Heights" features co-vocalist Torquil Campbell evoking a Scissor Sisters funkiness, which may surprise some fans. "My Favourite Book" is a bright, sunny spot showcasing Millan's penchant for smooth, silky jazz-pop a la Morcheeba or The Style Council. Throughout, the group remains poets-cum-performers--topics range from love between political protestors ("Barricade") to emotive hook-up attempts between personal-ad users ("Personal"), always done with lush musicianship that's often Moulin Rouge-esque at its core. Note to diehard fans: the limited-edition version of the disc is well worth the investment, featuring a captivating hour-long DVD that is part travelogue, part interview, and is filled with impressive clips from live shows throughout Europe and North America. --Denise Sheppard

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 25, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arts & Crafts
  • ASIN: B000UZ4EFM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #62,897 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Cale E. Reneau on September 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I can remember where I was the first time I heard Stars. I was at my mundane little office job enjoying some internet radio when suddenly, amongst the typical and expected, came a song that immediately distracted me from the job I was supposed to be doing. It was not only beautiful, but touching, catchy, and - dare i say - perfect. The song was "Heart," the title track from Stars' 2003 breakout album. The song stuck with me, but I never really pursued my interest in the band. One day, about a year and a half later, I was in my local record store looking for something to buy. For some reason (providence, really), I thought of Stars, a band I hadn't heard in months. But the store didn't have any copies of "Heart," only their new album, "Set Yourself On Fire." Hmm? I wasn't sure. I scanned the barcode on the CD and previewed the first song on the album, "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead." I've been a Stars fan ever since. Their entire catalog is filled with effortless pop masterpieces, featuring brilliant songwriting, poignant imagery, and stellar production. Needless to say, my expectations for "In Our Bedroom After the War" were high. I am thrilled to say that I am not disappointed.

Stars albums have the habit of starting things off with an audio sample of a quote that typically reflects the title and mood of the album to follow. This one is no different. After a 2-minute synth introduction (reminiscent of "What the Snowman Learned About Death"), the voice of a older woman, audibly weathered by the years of her life, rises. She asks, "All the blood and the treasure and the losing it all, the time that we wasted and the place where we fall; will we wake in the morning and know what it was for up in our bedroom after the war?
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 26, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The Canadian indiepop band Stars has never had a problem with crafting sad songs with shimmery music and pretty vocals, and this has definitely not changed in "In Our Bedroom After The War."

In fact, their fourth full-length album takes that tendency even further. Instead of a string of individual songs, it's a musical-style sequence of songs that seem to be about the sorrows of life and live during a war. With, of course, with lots of lush indiepop and murmury vocals.

It opens with a slow-building electropop tune that isn't quite catchy enough to make you pay attention. That is reserved for the swirling, dreamlike ballad "The Night Starts Here," a simple song with moments of insight ("You name your child/After your fear/And tell them/"I have brought you here").

Fortunately the songs that follow take after the latter than the former -- shimmery keyboard tunes, driving guitar-filled powerpop, exquisitely flickering ballads, and the discoey flavour of "Ghost of Genova Heights." Don't be fooled by its upbeat sound -- the concept is perhaps the most depressing one that Stars has ever done.

The album does stumble a bit in the second lap, with the warbly "Barricade" and forgettable "Window Bird," but fortunately it picks up after that. There's a brief spurt of colourful indie-rock, and swirling ballads, ending with the mellow, retrospective title track. It's a fitting finale, and saves the album from being TOO depressing.

On the first listen, "In Our Bedroom After the War" is basically the kind of chamberpop the band has been making for ages. Musically, much the same as their past work, save for a couple songs ("Bitches in Tokyo") where they dabble in new sounds.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Samilly on April 18, 2008
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
As someone that's been casually listening to Stars since the time of their release of "Set Yourself on Fire", I was actually initially hesitant to purchase this album. It was a long ten minute debate (yes, ten minutes is a long time to be debating with yourself) on whether I should buy "In Our Bedroom After the War" or just go with "Heart". I don't have either, and I've actually heard some of the songs off of "Heart", where as before buying, I had never heard a full song off of IOBATW. Anyway, I took a chance and purchased this. I have to say, I'm not sorry at all. In fact, I think I've found a new album to obsess over for a few weeks!

This album is a story. It has a very, err, musical feel to it. With each song, I can picture this ongoing story with characters expressing their point of views through singing. On first listening, it's good. On second listening, it's addictive ... which leads to third and fourth listenings!

The intro song, "The Beginning After the End" is a nice start. It's a nice beginning after the end. The song is a little short and doesn't have any lyrics (until the end), but it's a lovely, slow song that gives off a pensive feel.

Next is "The Night Starts Here", which I adore. I feel like this song belongs to a musical. I'm not even a big fan of musicals myself, but I can just picture this song belonging. It starts off very slow and low-beat, but then builds and ends up being quite catchy. I love the tones to Amy's voice.

"Take Me to the Riot" is also musical-like, though I don't particularly feel a connection to this song. It's kind of a throwaway track, in my opinion. It's certainly not skip-worthy, but it's by far not the best on the album. I'd actually say it's on the lower end.

"My Favourite Book" is terribly clever.
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