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Stars - Set Yourself On Fire (Cover Artwork)

Stars

Stars: Set Yourself On FireSet Yourself On Fire (2005)
Arts and Crafts

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: Sally_FieldMeg
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The thought of a band blending the vocals of both Azure Ray and Morrissey and the unique instrumental assembly of Neutral Milk Hotel almost sounds to good to be true, and yet, Stars manages to deliver just that. With an album featuring trumpets, glockenspiels, French horns, saxophones, violins, and .
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The thought of a band blending the vocals of both Azure Ray and Morrissey and the unique instrumental assembly of Neutral Milk Hotel almost sounds to good to be true, and yet, Stars manages to deliver just that. With an album featuring trumpets, glockenspiels, French horns, saxophones, violins, and cellos, anything short of an "epic" sound is unrealistic.

Here on Stars' third full-length Set Yourself On Fire, the listener is introduced to themes of passion, delivered in an ornate array of both synths and strings, creating a most eclectic and romantic album. Upon listening to such a release, setting one's self ablaze, if you will, is a completely unsuitable option.

Set Yourself On Fire opens with the words "when there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire," leading right into the string ensemble's powerful display of talent. "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" offers the listener a sample of both male and female vocals, as well as frequent time changes accompanied by breathy vocals. Synths are in full swing during the album's upbeat title track, while the album's jewel, "Reunion," boasts a catchy chorus and reference to "sucking freezies in the rain."

Tracks like "The Big Fight" offer an incredibly appealing quality: conversational-esque vocals. And though the lyrics can be a bit much throughout the album (see: "you look so good in the clothes of a poser"), Stars manage to redeem themselves steadfast with their charming harmonies.

The mass appeal of male/female vocals has become quite evident in the U.S. with bands in the likes of Mates Of State, yet these Canadians could sure teach us all a thing or two about indie pop done right.

 

 
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The Gaslight Anthem - Sink or SwimRefused - The Shape of Punk to ComeThe Postal Service - Give UpThe Lawrence Arms - Oh! Calcutta!Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside MeThe Weakerthans - Left and LeavingThe Weakerthans - Reconstruction SiteBear Vs Shark - TerrorhawkThe Flatliners - CavalcadeAt The Drive-In - Relationship Of Command

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
blip (July 7, 2008)

"Your Ex-Lover is Dead" is a damn good song.

score is for that--and the video.

Anonymous (May 20, 2006)

I really dont think they meant to rip off Explosions in the Sky with the album cover... I mean EITS's fan base is close enough to theirs to make trying to rip off their album cover a pretty stupid move. If EITS had been something completely obscure and unrelated they perhaps could have gotten away with it... the resemblance is uncanny tho... right down to the red print. good album tho. heart is better. "Time cannot kill the true heart" is one of my favorite songs ever.

Anonymous (September 8, 2005)

You have to love the anonymous posters on this site.

arturoroxmysox (September 8, 2005)

meh, they arent incredible...but a decent listen.

bloodbrothersburnpiano (September 7, 2005)

i can see the cover comparison between explosions..but they probably didn't even realize they were doing it. as far as the album, it has gotten its fair share of spins since it came out (which seems like forever ago). "ageless beauty" is the obvious standout and the only song that i still play with any frequency. also, everyone should check out the video for that song. it's seriously one of my favorite videos ever.

Anonymous (September 7, 2005)

"Truly scene? Oh man, lamest comment ever."

There are, in this world, pieces of iridium less dense than you, motherfucker.

tristan (September 7, 2005)

I've heard this album zillions of times by now and it's every bit as good as the first spin through. Torq Campbell and Amy Millan can do no wrong.

blade-runner (September 7, 2005)

I don't hear a blend of Morrisey vocals in this.
i like it though.

vampa (September 7, 2005)

score is for what ghostmonkey said.

stevejonestherealbones (September 6, 2005)

this album art completely rips off explosions in the sky.

theres a hand there, duh

- jones the bones

- stevejones8770@yahoo.com

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

this album art completely rips off explosions in the sky.

Archangel (September 6, 2005)

Truly scene? Oh man, lamest comment ever.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

The kids are me? Oh noes! I am slain!

You lose at life.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

The kids are you, you dick. Who fucking cares, anyways? Shit.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

The kids are too busy with the motherfucking Bravery to care about Stars. I think Heart got them some crossover fans in the John Mayer brigade, but I haven't heard anything about this.

Kids who are truly scene would've dug this record when it came out. In 2000 and fucking 4.

Benjamin_ (September 6, 2005)

"Thank you Punkforkmedia.org"

Heh. That's funny.

This album blows. Anything Canadian is immediately assumed to be godlike these days, most likely because of Godspeed You! Black Emperor's goodliness. I'm just sick of seeing you average, pretentious, boring, worn-out indie-rock (with a bit of "alternative" instruments - like the glockenspiel, we must not forget the glockenspiel) being praised over, and over, and over again. Especially when it's as poor as this...

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

"the kids"? dude, just because you're 17 doesn't mean that you're still not one of the kids. sucka.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

12,000 years late? so thats like what, dinosaurs and shit?

i'll bet that youve been waiting soooo long to get that 'punkforkmedia' joke out for ages. and it stunk.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

Thank you Punkforkmedia.org You guys are just about 12,000 years late. Thanks for sharing. I personally perfer their last record "Heart".

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

i don't necessarily know if "the kids" are flipping over this; i've seen them three or four times and none of those shows have been all ages...i'm not really tapped into "the kids" "scene" though...

oh, and this band is, in fact, 100% incredible. easily one of the top three bands in canada right now...

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

horrible review. neutral milk hotel? i dont see the reference. And Azure Ray? not even close.

God damn, what a horrible fucking review.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

Agreement with the non-Neutral Milk Hotel comment below. Although it is warranted that the reviewer commented on unique instrumentation similar to Magnum's use of french horns, trumpets, and fucking saws.

SkolarX (September 6, 2005)

about the only newer band who should be compared to nmh is sleep station.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

How do you compare this to Neutral Milk Hotel? Why does every new "indie" record get compared to them these days? This has nothing in common with that. Jesus Fuck!

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

i think the world creamed their shorts over the arcade fire, when stars is the more exciting band. who knows. blame canada.
-TOBB

joeg (September 6, 2005)

i detest neutral milk hotel so i'm sure i'll love this record. wait that didn't make sense.

ghostmonkey (September 6, 2005)

OLD PUNKER -download the good song (Ageless Beauty)from here before getting the lp

http://www.arts-crafts.ca/stars/freedownload/

(sorry if the link dont work, cut and paste if need be)

Josiah (September 6, 2005)

they could probably take over the world if they would just effing release "your ex-lover is dead" as a single already...

good lord i love this band..."Heart" is also just an incredible album...

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

Ghostmonkey, you mention slowdive, boy i miss them, love mojave 3 tho, i may pick this up based on your reference to slowdive alone-oldpunker-

shadydeals (September 6, 2005)

"Ageless Beauty" is absolutely stunning. The first three tracks on this CD are ridiculously good. This whole album is awesome.

ghostmonkey (September 6, 2005)

"Ageless Beauty" is the best track on the album, and one of my favourite songs of the year so far, reminds me of My Bloody Valentine and Slowdive. Shame the rest of the lp is not as good.

AlmostPunkEnough (September 6, 2005)

i agree with Scott and Anchors is pretty dead on. also, this band is boring as fuck.

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

I absolutely love the first song on this album

...and thats pretty much it

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

i haven't heard anyone flipping over this band, but since they are going on tour with death cab for cutie i'm sure after that tour stars will be just alittle bit bigger....their cd before this (Heart) one is alot better...i saw them live back in may or june in chicago and they didn't have a huge crowd at the show...oh well i enjoy it

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

i haven't heard anyone flipping over this band, but since they are going on tour with death cab for cutie i'm sure after that tour stars will be just alittle bit bigger....their cd before this (Heart) one is alot better...i saw them live back in june in chicago and they didn't have a huge crowd at the show...oh well i enjoy it

etwiels88 (September 6, 2005)

"Posted by Anonymous on 2005-09-06 00:25:42

Anchors, everybody in the world called, they want you to shut the hell up"

Hahaha. Even though Anchors was pretty right with that accusation, that was still funny.

I can't get into this band. Solely because of the artwork. It looks more like something a high school pop punk band would put out rather than an indie album.

skaboom (September 6, 2005)

I was thinking that too, Anchors. Is that supposed to be a parody, or were we not supposed to notice the huge similarity?

Inspection12e (September 6, 2005)

This makes my pants tight!

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

Anchors, everybody in the world called, they want you to shut the hell up

Anonymous (September 6, 2005)

new broken social scene got leaked too

Anchors (September 6, 2005)

Explosions In The Sky called, they want their album cover back.

http://www.openmusic.ru/articles-respond-recenses/0153-explos ions_in_the_sky/0153-explosions_in_the_sky_01.jpg

maverick (September 6, 2005)

Kids are flipping out over this band like they're the second coming of Jesus (or the Arcade Fire; whatever). I found nothing special in this record at all. Pass.

-Scott

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