1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Allegro, non troppo,
This review is from: In Our Bedroom After the War (Audio CD)
For Stars, the nineties never happened. All members have metabolized the two pillars of 80s British pop-rock -- Smiths and New Order -- so thoroughly that they don't need to copy them, they just exude them. Prefab Sprout, Electronic, Sundays, Everything But The Girl, even Cure: the intelligent melodic music of Northern England is shimmering inside every song. On the other side, I bet that Campbell & Co. cannot locate Bristol on the map, and listen to Portishead or Tricky only when they are in wrist-slitting mode.
Why this long introduction? Because this heritage seems Stars' strength and weakness. At its best, the band has the innocence and urgency of a teen-ager finding the right words for the first time. "The Night Starts Here" and "Take me to the Riot" are memorable and enthusing. They sit of the wide shoulders of Bernard Sumner and Morrissey without plagiarizing them. There are many other songs that are pitch-perfect, efficient and honest. "My Favorite Book" and "Personal" are in this class. They are intelligent without being cerebral. But, when they are short on ideas, the songs flounder. They go on melodic 80s autopilot. I felt that "Bitches in Tokyo" and the titular song were enjoyable but gratuitous and detract from the overall experience. When you have 10 dry, powerful, <em> needed</em> songs from a Canadian rock band what you get is Neon Bible. Stars are not there yet. But they have potential for greatness, and they already have several excellent songs in their repertoire.
I heard that the band is very selective in its choice of material. I hope they could be just a bit more selective. It's just a matter of time until the perfect album.