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The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy

Nada SurfAudio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)

Price: $14.32 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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"Did you ever, as a kid, want to crawl into the speakers?" asks Nada Surf singer-guitarist Matthew Caws. "I did — here was OK, but there was much better." And that's pretty much what Nada Surf is all about — Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca, and drummer Ira Elliot are in love with the way rock music can transport you to a new and wonderful place in a beguiling ... Read more in Amazon's Nada Surf Store

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Frequently Bought Together

The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy + Lucky + Weight Is a Gift
Price for all three: $35.19

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 24, 2012)
  • Original Release Date: 2012
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Barsuk
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,085 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Clear Eye Clouded Mind
2. Waiting For Something
3. When I Was Young
4. Jules and Jim
5. The Moon is Calling
6. Teenage Dreams
7. Looking Through
8. Let the Fight Do the Fighting
9. No Snow On the Mountain
10. The Future

Editorial Reviews

''Did you ever, as a kid, want to crawl into the speakers?'' asks Nada Surf singer-guitarist Matthew Caws. ''I did--here was OK, but there was much better.'' And that's pretty much what Nada Surf is all about--Caws, bassist Daniel Lorca, and drummer Ira Elliot are in love with the way rock music can transport you to a new and wonderful place in a beguiling rush of beats, chords, hooks and words. And they do it 10 times over on their brilliant sixth album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy. Before, Nada Surf albums simply took on the character of the songs that the band came up with at the time. This one was different--there was a plan. ''We've always played faster and a little harder live,'' Caws says, ''but we'd play so carefully in the studio. So with this album, we made a conscious decision to preserve what it felt like in the practice room, when you play with that new-song energy. Just embrace it and not worry whether we're overdoing it, kind of get all the thinking out of the way.'' Chris Shaw came in to record and produce. Shaw, who's made records with the likes of Bob Dylan, Super Furry Animals and Wilco had mixed Nada Surf's indie hit ''Always Love,'' impressing the band with his quick and expert work, not to mention his sense of humor. A few years ago, Caws met guitarist Doug Gillard (Guided by Voices, Death of Samantha) one night at a show, when the latter ambled over to him and offered to ''lay down some James Honeyman-Scott licks'' next time they recorded. Since then Gillard has became such an integral part of the band's sound that they invited him to play on Stars, too. The Stars has a somewhat more optimistic, more outward-looking tone than previous Nada Surf albums. On the yearning ''Waiting for Something,'' Caws sings, ''This new peace/ I can feel it now,'' and that serenity--and not anger--is actually what fueled the music's extra kick. The album springs from the notion of music as an alternative reality, and songs as things you can keep by your side for inspiration and support. Which is what makes Nada Surf a truly beloved band.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely catchy! Upbeat! Well-crafted! January 24, 2012
Format:Audio CD
As a long-time Nada Surf fan, I would say this is the perfect album at the perfect time.

"Clear Eye Clouded Mind" is a driving opening song that evokes the sound of "Do it Again" or "Concrete Bed," but is more upbeat and fast-paced -- and modern. Here we find the title of the album ("The stars are indifferent to astronomy") in a declaration of the ultimate expression of individuality. This song could be an anthem for anyone swimming against the mainstream. Not full of angst. Full of affirmation.

"Waiting for Something" could be the catchiest "ditty" on the album. "When I was Young" has been available for some time as a free download so many fans have heard it, of course. It is one of the more atmospheric tracks, and a solid entry. This, along with "Let The Fight do the Fighting" are two of the slower, more pensive songs. The latter, by the way, was the track a friend who is not familiar with Nada Surf singled out as a favorite after listening. That brings me to the point that this album is a GREAT gateway into the Nada Surf sound for friends who haven't been around for the duration. Throw it on the car stereo during 38 minute drive, and I guarantee your passengers will ask, "Who is this?!"

"Jules and Jim" and "The Moon is Calling" are both solid, fresh tracks that ensue the middle of the album isn't "filler" (Nada Surf doesn't make "filler"). Like so many other Nada Surf songs, these two will have you emulating Matthew's harmonic vocals (good luck!). "The Moon is Calling" reaches for a few more beautiful, lifting crescendos, while "Jules and Jim" has a paced, tip-toe approach to some of the loftier moments in the song.

"Teenage Dreams" is a marching manifesto of following your dreams. Its power is sublime.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best bands in the world gets even better February 2, 2012
Format:Audio CD
With the addition of veteran guitarist Doug Gillard [Guided By Voices, Cobra Verde], NADA SURF have approximated the thicker, more aggressive live sound they have seldom captured on record. Not that there have been problems with any of their records since the 2nd one [the debut, by their own admission, was not quite the band they have become]...but this one absolutely sizzles. The wonderful, bittersweet wordplay {"I am lost in my mind when you go to sleep"} always manages to capture the exact mood of their heady, melodic pop-rock. This one is most comparable to "Let Go", but maybe even more upbeat. The only drawback [for me] is the relatively short running time of just over 38 minutes...but, like the adage suggests, they definitely left me wanting more. Hats off to Matthew and the boys.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More of the Same Good Thing January 24, 2012
Format:Audio CD
On this, their sixth album, Nada Surf don't redefine anything, nor do they go "back to basics," or express any pretension towards being edgy or relevant. What they do is bash out ten good songs that hang together well, that further illustrate their skillful blend of catchy indie-rock with ridiculously un-cynical lyrics. It's definitely a practice-room record, evident from the opening crash of "Clear Eye Clouded Mind," and the generally effortless but decidedly uptempo rush through the rest of the album, through to the dizzying coda of "No Snow on the Mountain." "Waiting for Something" sounds so familiar as to be Nada Surf-by-numbers, but no worries: good tricks bear repeating. The spacey slow burn of "When I was Young," the effervescent janglefest "Jules and Jim," and the earnest "Looking Through" are other highlights. The tempo only slows for "Let the Fight do the Fighting," a shimmering minor-key gem with a nice trumpet solo and cello that feels like a companion to Lucky's "Are You Lightning?". This album won't make them favorites of the Pitchfork set, but it is perhaps their most overall upbeat and accessible record, even though it doesn't quite scale the peaks from earlier efforts. It's just another Nada Surf record: sometimes that's more than enough, and huzzah for that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Like the good old wine, amazing new record January 24, 2012
Format:Audio CD
The first thing that The stars are indifferent to astronomy evokes is nostalgia. Not in a good or a bad way, just a nostalgia for the past, for a decade when a song without consequence about high school kids was all one needed to be, well, popular. This is a record about the passing of time, and from the first note one knows already that it will be an ageless treat.

Nada Surf have learned to accept the maturity that comes with age. Unlike some of their contemporaries, they only glimpse back to pick what they can recycle and improve, instead of regressing. Their story as a band is that of their scene peers, and probably one of the most tangible examples of the current situation of independent rock.

Matthew Caws' voice sound as jovial as always, but there is an omnipresent sense of content. Bassist Daniel Lorca and drummer Ira Elliott, along with guest guitarist Doug Gillard, match perfectly and make their signature style soar, as the record plays without sounding tiresome or repetitive.

"Now I've grown up / I wondered what was that world I was dreaming of" Caws sings on lead single When I was young, which is emblematic in so many ways. There is no stopping the easiness with which they sail through ten tracks that aim deeper than they seem. All around there are hints at the good old times ("it is never too late for teenage dreams" he shares in Teenage dreams), but they do not get lost in the past, they are simply looking through the glass and moving forward.

For a band that never quite took off as a mainstream act, a band that has been labeled as a one hit wonder, Nada Surf are resilient and seem perfectly unaffected by it.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Pure Confectionary Excellence!
I am betting that I'm in the same position as many, many other middle aged males who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s listening to rock, hair, acoustic rock, and proto-metal . . . Read more
Published 10 months ago by Bluesteele07
5.0 out of 5 stars for those obsessed with the perfect pop song
if you have a mind/heart/soul that craves perfect pop
like teenage fanclub, big star, guided by voices,
then cast aside the veil of cynicism placed on this group
by... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Melyssa
5.0 out of 5 stars Power Pop at its finest
I was totally floored by the record. I had heard of Nada Surf only twice before - like everyone else through the quirky mega hit Popular, but they also did a cover of the Big Star... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Bigstar
4.0 out of 5 stars "What Can I Do When I'm Next to You?"
I've been a Nada Surf fan ever since I caught their video for "Always Love" years ago. I've enjoyed the progression and maturity that they've shown with each album and this record... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lunar Boulevard
5.0 out of 5 stars You Play The Emperor's Part
Long time Nada Surf fan and I LOVE this album. I know these guys can rock and thankfully, they cranked up the guitars and let loose a little bit on Stars. Read more
Published 24 months ago by Tom LePen
2.0 out of 5 stars Disapointing Album by one of my favorite bands...
After coming so far, didn't get it done this time around and I was so disappointed! I even tried multiple listens to see if it would grow on me and it didn't whatsoever. Read more
Published on September 30, 2012 by Christopher Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars addictive tunes
It took a few listens. This CD didn't knock me out the first couple of times I played it. I started to worry. Read more
Published on August 26, 2012 by Donald E. Gilliland
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect in every way
This was the first album I have listened to by Nada Surf, and it blew me away. Perfectly crafted songs, singer lyrics and catchy hooks. Read more
Published on May 7, 2012 by diver7997
3.0 out of 5 stars the musicians are indifferent to the music
This album is nada surf retreating to a more guitar driven sound but maintaining the accessible sound that has given them their fair share of popularity. Read more
Published on May 2, 2012 by Justin Pruitt
4.0 out of 5 stars A sleeper
I'm relatively new to the Nada Surf fan club although the band has been around for a long time. I enjoyed everything I'd heard by them in the past, so buying this CD was a given. Read more
Published on March 24, 2012 by Old Davy
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