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The Billboard
Stars are soft-revolutionaries and music is their rallying cry. Amy Millan, Chris Seligman, Torquil Campbell and Evan Cranley are four young people who through their music are trying to save us from our mundane and complacent fears. When at a loss for words, one music writer said the only way to describe Stars was "beautiful hope". Their music has been described as "breath-takingly effervescent" and they have been called the kind of band that "blue lights and fog machines are made for". Somewhere dancing between these designations is Stars' "Heart". An album with an otherworldly blissfulness and a sophisticated epicurean cool. To them, art is the way to change the world because it is sincere and heartfelt. With them it has no pretenses and is filled with passion and longing. Stars make music that musicians love. Their fans include Momus, Louis Phillipe, Saint Etienne, K-OS, Alan Moulder and Broken Social Scene, a band that Stars collaborate with on a regular basis and of which Evan is a permanent member.

Their debut L.P "Nightsongs", which is currently in its third pressing in the U.S., was a pristine prelude to "Heart". It was called "one of the most thoroughly listenable albums in pop music history" and was pursued and further exposed by KCRW's "Morning Sounds Eclectic" live radio show. In addition, the album rated highly on critics' top ten lists across North America. It was a definitive pop classic, recalling the best of Prefab Sprout, The Smiths, Saint Etienne and New Order.

Their second release, The Comeback E.P., marked the band's departure from New York and move to Montreal. It is filled with even more hooks and delicious sugary dance-ability and was the beginning of the band's abandonment of pastiche and the formulation of their unique musical vision.

Within the bands first official Canadian release, "Heart", the longing becomes more intrinsic. Stars have taken us from a lonely rooftop to the steamy bedrooms in the world's sexiest cities. With lyrics like "You get back on the latest flight from paradise, I found out from a note taped to the door, I think I saw your airplane in the sky tonight, through my window lying on the kitchen floor", Stars tell the world that they are in love and that they are not afraid to sing.

Making the album was a painstaking experience. They spent many sleepless nights in a bedroom studio with only the ventilation of a rickety old fan propped in the corner. Whatever Stars did, it worked. So much so that acclaimed British producer Ian Catt (Saint Etienne) enthusiastically volunteered to mix three songs. The other eight songs on the album were mixed by Canadian producer Dave Hodge (Brand Van 3000, Wu-Tang Clan). The result is a scintillating work of art, a pop music masterpiece. "Heart" will be remembered because the songs are beautiful, and to Stars, beauty is what will save us.

- MapleMusic
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Last Updated: 09/30/10
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