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Stars: Set Yourself On Fire

Refreshing In All The Right Ways

Canada's seemingly small scene is making a big impression and Stars' Set Yourself On Fire is no exception. There were many albums that were being passed on in the latter part of the 90's; The New Roman Times, and the Star Light Mints paved the way for The Shins and even the Unicorns.

Which brings us to the Stars in 2005. The sound they're putting out is not new, but it is refreshing in all the right ways. Their melodies are straight out of the largely ignored pop orchestra camps of the late 90's (add some 80's for flare that will guarantee radio Play, of course). I would say the truly unique explorations on the album are their lyrical content. No, "I love you, let's meet at the mall and we'll kiss", no, none of that here.

Just have a listen to the track "Celebration Guns" and you'll soon get the idea that nothing is sugarcoated, only candy-free. Meanwhile, San Francisco has gotten back our musical voice with our own Psych Pop meanderings but that's not all that's in store, especially with all the new voices that are now being recognized globally. The Stars and others are acting as a permanent prop to open a window in this generation's Indie/Pop attic -- finally.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Stars, "Set Yourself On Fire" (Arts&Crafts)
US release 3/08/2005