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The Five Ghosts

4.2 out of 5 stars 26 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

2010 release, the fifth album from the Canadian Alt-Rock outfit. Ten years after singer-lyricist Torquil Campbell and keyboardist Chris Seligman conceived of Stars in a decrepit New York apartment, one can listen back through the band's discography and hear dozens of songs that find new ways to contemplate the ancient, ageless subjects of love and death. To that end, The Five Ghosts, would seem to be business as usual. Indeed, a scan of its song titles ('Dead Hearts,' 'I Died So I Could Haunt You', 'The Last Song Ever Written') would suggest as much. And yes, the band whose previous album, 2007's In Our Bedroom After the War, imagined romance in the shadow of the threat of apocalypse, are as fascinated as ever by the potential of the ruinous love song. But The Five Ghosts is different from previous Stars albums. Simpler, sparer, and more confident (in its own quiet way), it also trades some of the band's previous dramatic flourish for the sort of direct, heart-bearing communication that comes from hard-won experience.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 21, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Vagrant
  • ASIN: B003KNDL4G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #143,222 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Andrew Vice on June 22, 2010
Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Does not include "The Five Ghosts" title track. Or the deluxe edition songs. Those songs, especially the title track, are very much part of the themes in this album. It's a shame they're not included. Also, no lyrics in this digipak. Again, it really doesn't do justice by how well written these lyrics are. But great album regardless.
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