Stars, Set Yourself On Fire

Todd Burns

By Todd Burns

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

There's only one bad thing you can say about Stars'Set Yourself on Fire: it doesn't contain career highlight “Elevator Love Letter.” Otherwise, this album is pretty much the perfect indie-pop record, replete with girl/boy harmonizing, epic choruses and the type of catchy tunes that could've only been created (these days, anyway) in Canada.

An indie-pop masterpiece.

But it's not just perfect pop constructions. Check the extended coda on the title track, which cuts off the propulsive tune and takes it to outer space. Or “The Big Fight,” where the group seemingly hires a different producer mid-song and turns a plodding lament into an upbeat instrumental. Or the flat-out electro-jazz-punk maelstrom of “He Lied About Death.”

At heart, though, Stars is a pop band, and pop music is about moments that make your heart swell a little bit larger than you thought it could. Fire has plenty of those, too: when drummer Pat McGee starts syncopating on “One More Night,” when the group “woo”'s are indistinguishable from the oscillating synth on “Ageless Beauty,” that one moment of silence before each chorus in “Soft Revolution”… I could go on, but what's the point? Words are useless when you run up against this type of album. Dig in.