Stars are one of my favourite contemporary Canadian bands. I own three of their previous releases, because I really like their ability to write and perform songs with a decidedly retro eighties sound. I can’t help but think that the Montreal music scene, with contemporaries like The Stills, had some influence over this Toronto born and raised group. I love their music.
Stars newest release, The North, contains a few songs that bring me back to the days I listened to New Order, Animotion, Kate Bush, and the Cocteau Twins. From the opening “The Theory of Relativity,” the synthesizers, take us on a journey back in time. I hear the influences of New Order and Kate Bush on the catchy, “Hold On When You Get Love And Let Go When You Give It.” The kind of song you start singing along to after hearing the chorus only one time. “Progress” rounds out my favourites of the synth-infused songs on the album.
The rest of the album is more contemporary pop with the title song, “The North,” evoking feelings of loneliness and cold (we Canadians can empathize); and the burdens of travel and work on relationships on “The 400” which I can only assume refers to the highway leading North out of Toronto. “A Song Is A Weapon,” is another great song on the album, with words, like “I can only hope to kill you with a song,” and they are by no means trying to kill anyone “softly.” The Stars have produced another solid album, sure to please.
© Dee Dee Duric, Music Vice
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