March 31, 2005

Test Spin: Stars

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If Bloc Party is 2005’s reincarnation of Franz Ferdinand, then Stars are this year’s Broken Social Scene. But this should come as no surprise, considering that two members of Stars limelight for everybody’s favorite Toronto-based indie rock collective.

Stars’ newest release continues the earnest and heartfelt pop rock that seems to be Canadian bands’ plat du jour. The album balances somber lyrics lamenting the passing of youthful innocence with a cornucopia of musical styles made ready for dancing. After giving this disc a few spins, you too will “want one more chance to be young and wild and free” as the chorus declares on “Reunion.”

Some songs, like the title track and “What I’m Trying To Say,” are made overripe by electronically modulated beats. But for every derivative, there is a redeeming, sonically perfected pop song gladdened by some of the most enchanting strings, keyboards, choral voices and horns to be found on the other side of the St. Lawrence Seaway. But musical invasions from the North should hardly faze all of you pretentious indie kids. Montreal is the new New York; Toronto, the new Chicago.

Archived article by Matty Nagowski
Sun Staff Writer