Stars, Set Yourself On Fire

07 febrero 2009 | |

Stars are a pop band who sound best on a rock equalizer setting. They aren't loud and don't need to be-- their third and best album, Set Yourself on Fire, is a great example of sonic efficiency. Its songs are packed like a Geo Tracker for a cross-country road trip, yet nothing gets crushed or stuffed or buried. It might be the best orchestral pop album of 2004, only it doesn't sound orchestral, at least not according to the outsize string-and-reverb model favored by bands like Oasis or Spiritualized. If you find me a recent album that towers higher with fodder so virtuosically managed and manipulated, I'll give you 20 dollars and jump in a foreboding body of water from a height.

Set Yourself on Fire is about breaking up and breaking down, and as such the album feels wontedly cathartic, like the moments right after you hit your emotional nadir and start getting your shit together.

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