August 30, 2012

Review: Stars' The North

Twelve years into their career, Stars continue to bring whipsmart indie pop to their open-hearted followers. On their sixth studio album, The North, the prolific Canadian group manages to sound as fresh and engaged as they did in the halcyon days of the early oo's.

Album opener The Theory of Relativity sets the tone with a clever lyric ("Find someone close and hold them like you care.") and a power pop crunch. The title track is reminiscent of early work like On Peak Hill, both in its aural shimmer and its theme of looking back: "There's a person he once was / In a place far away / It's so cold in this country / From October to May."

Although lead singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell are masters of a forlorn piano ballad (The 400), The North's summit is reached on a (literally) pounding, New Orderish manifesto called Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It. That track’s lyrical hook, “Take the weakest thing in you and then beat the bastards with it,” should be stamped on our tee-shirts in these waning days of a glorious, too-hot summer.

1 comment:

countpopula said...

This is a very good album which I heard today for the first time. When it got to the "New Order-y" track I was thinking, "Christ, it's TEMPTATION! THOSE DRUMS!" Guess we're on a similar wavelength.

There are one or two tracks that are sort of meh, but it's definitely as good as the last one, and I like how there are a few short songs too just to mix things up a little.