Stars "Heart" - Album of the Year ?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
In my book.

Tim D (Tim D), Saturday, 31 May 2003 21:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

everyone else i talk to seems to think it is a major letdown. i've not heard it. how is it different from the first?

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 31 May 2003 22:53 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I never heard the first. It sounds like a Canadian Delgados. I like it.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 31 May 2003 23:01 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

yeah i heard it is more muscluar, more guitar and less fey.

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 31 May 2003 23:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's not good. "Canadian Delgados"? Fuck! Can't we just let the Delgados move here?

Sean@tangmonkey (Sean M), Saturday, 31 May 2003 23:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i don't like the delgados. i'll avoid it.

keith (keithmcl), Saturday, 31 May 2003 23:14 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It's more Canadian than it is Delgados, if that makes any sense.

(This is why I've had the album three weeks and not reviewed it yet).

The opening six seconds are dreadful, though.

Dom Passantino (Dom Passantino), Saturday, 31 May 2003 23:24 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I only remember liking "Elevator Love Letter".

gazuga (gazuga), Sunday, 1 June 2003 01:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The only time I've heard them was when I decided to check out their show. I left after four songs. I can't really recall much, except that the singer rubbed me the wrong way (in an insufferable pretentious prick kinda way) and the music was very boring. Unless I hear overwhelmingly positive response to their recorded material, I'm not spending a minute or a penny more investigating it. The local press seems generous towards them though, but then again, Montreal media like the Dears.

alex in montreal, Sunday, 1 June 2003 06:56 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'Death to death' sounds like the Auteurs. It's a very good album.

Affectian (Affectian), Sunday, 1 June 2003 11:30 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

You can hear four of the songs from Heart here.

I like them. More than decent pop. I might get this album. They were decent live, too (altho' male singer does come across annoyingly, which is compensated by Amy Millan's more likeable presence). From their music, I'd guess they've listened ot a lot of New Order.

David A. (Davant), Monday, 2 June 2003 00:57 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I only remember that cover of "This Charming Man." That was mad popular at our radio station.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 2 June 2003 01:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the singer does not interview well, what's with these wuss pop bands thinkning they are tough?

keith (keithmcl), Monday, 2 June 2003 01:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i've heard that Bob Wratten is pretty handy with his fists

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Monday, 2 June 2003 01:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

'if the sun going down makes me cry...'

keith (keithmcl), Monday, 2 June 2003 01:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I saw them live with Broken Social Scene opening for them. About a third of the crowd left right after BSS was finished, and by the time I left about 3/4 of the way through Stars' set, there was only about 1/3 of the crowd left.

Needless to say, Broken Social Scene was a lot better. The singer is just so annoying on stage and his voice and the lyrics just worsen the deal. Without him, they might be worth a listen, but he just destroys the band.

blutroniq (blutroniq), Monday, 2 June 2003 03:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The first LP, "nightsongs" is so absolutely stunning and romantic and beautiful - but "heart" just suxxx.

Anyways, the lead singer Torquil is an ass. He was in an episode of "Sex and the City" - and his one line is directed at Sarah Jessica-Parker... "Is that pleather?"

phil-two (phil-two), Monday, 2 June 2003 04:06 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

heh... i'd like to hear a bob wratten style threat.

"i'm going to kick your ass, kick your ass will i, your ass i will surely kick, surely kick"

or perhaps "why should you not die, if it's the way i feel?"

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Monday, 2 June 2003 04:20 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

broken social scene fans walking out on the stars makes the stars seem more appealing.

keith (keithmcl), Monday, 2 June 2003 23:19 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i'm going to buy it, keith. perhaps i can hook you up.

fortunate hazel (f. hazel), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 01:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

we should do trades like in the old days. i like the first album.

keith (keithmcl), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 01:12 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i've made this joke elsewhere, but it got a laugh so here goes:

http://www.sequentialrandomist.org/images/userimages/sars.jpg

Posted: 07 Apr 2003 09:50 am    Post subject: SARS outbreak source located!

- spreading from eastern canada
- causes flu-like symptoms
- has already claimed lives in ontario
- quarantine of lead singer highly recommended

fields of salmon (fieldsofsalmon), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 02:44 (fifteen years ago) Permalink


I got to know Torquil pretty well when I first moved to NY. He appeared alongside me in a weekly improvised cabaret I was doing at the Knitting Factory. He played the Duke of Atari, and he was pretty good at it, creating a character in real time and coming up with some pretty funny lines on the spur of the moment. He's very, very bright, very self-assured, a bit of a control freak and, yes, he does have a tough guy side -- he had to miss one show because he got arrested smoking dope in Central Park and spent the night in the cooler. Sure he can be spiky, and sure he rubs a lot of people up the wrong way. (He also happens to be the nephew of top literary agent Andrew Wylie, so he's spent time hanging out with the likes of Salman Rushdie -- playing ping pong, apparently).

Torq had a bad couple of years trying to sign Stars to Chris Blackwell's Palm Pictures label in LA. Unsuccessfully, as it turned out. It's good to see him back with such strong material. His singing voice has become one of the most beautiful around, his lyrics are moving and insightful, and the music smoulders prettily (sometimes a little too slickly). If ever the 'clever adult pop' of the mid to late 80s (Smiths, Prefab Sprout, er, Deacon Blue?) comes back into fashion, Stars are going to be huge.

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 06:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Stars play live at The Barfly, Camden, London this Thursday, June 5th.

http://www.barflyclub.com/listings/london.html

Momus (Momus), Tuesday, 3 June 2003 07:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
If ever the 'clever adult pop' of the mid to late 80s (Smiths, Prefab Sprout, er, Deacon Blue?) comes back into fashion, Stars are going to be huge.

This is very OTM. I listened to Heart again tonight, and now I'm regretting not placing it higher (or at all, truth be told) in my year-end thing for PopMatters. (Like it... ahem... matters.)

But, yes, certainly not "album of the year" yet one of the best of 2003.

(And anyway, what's wrong with being "wuss-pop" and tough?)

David A. (Davant), Sunday, 11 January 2004 09:09 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I only remember liking "Elevator Love Letter".

I agree. There were only a few others that stood out, but Elevator towers above them.

christhamrin (christhamrin), Sunday, 11 January 2004 09:35 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Elevator Love Letter".

Yes, and the few others, imo:

"Heart"
"Romantic Comedy"
"Look Up"

(These are all brilliant, the rest range from okay to very good.)

David A. (Davant), Sunday, 11 January 2004 20:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i finally heard the new one and it sounds a lot like the first one. i think the prefab sprout comparison is good up until a point as there isn't any of the built-in drama of a prefab sprout song on any of the Stars' songs, it's distilled politeness. They might be the most canadian band ever though. Soft power rock! Lloyd Axworthy must be a huge fan.

keith m (keithmcl), Monday, 12 January 2004 01:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

One thing I really enjoy about the album is its 1998 Grand Royal style production (probably cuz that Bran Van 3000 guy produced it). Unlike most of the stuff that actually came out then there's some meat to the lyrics. It's sonically reminiscient of a time too recent for most people to actually be nostalgiac for it.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Monday, 12 January 2004 01:36 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The Romantic Comedy/My Radio 7" was one of my 2003 top 50 singles.

Barima (Barima), Monday, 12 January 2004 03:11 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...
The beat on "Time Can Never Kill the True Heart" is very Timbaland.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:09 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Stars vs Junior Boys FITE

R.I.M.A. (Barima), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think rather than fight, they should cover each other's entire albums!

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

And passionately make out in between recording.

R.I.M.A. (Barima), Wednesday, 18 August 2004 22:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

there is a memphis album out soon, how does that differ from stars?

keith m (keithmcl), Thursday, 19 August 2004 00:45 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

2 streaming Memphis tracks available here: ihttp://www.paperbagrecords.com/memphis.html

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 19 August 2004 01:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

pardon my I

Michael F Gill (Michael F Gill), Thursday, 19 August 2004 01:07 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

it sounds like stars

keith m (keithmcl), Thursday, 19 August 2004 01:31 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It sounds like utterly detestable indie carp is what it sounds like.

Atnevon (Atnevon), Thursday, 19 August 2004 02:29 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I suppose those last five words are largely unnecessary. How funny.

Atnevon (Atnevon), Thursday, 19 August 2004 02:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

so funny.

keith m (keithmcl), Thursday, 19 August 2004 03:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yes, I thought so too.

Atnevon (Atnevon), Thursday, 19 August 2004 03:56 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I really enjoy a Memphis track on a Darla comp, and I've been meaning to buy 'Heart' for ages.

derrick (derrick), Thursday, 19 August 2004 05:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Yay!!!

"STARS . SET YOURSELF ON FIRE

On October 12th, "Set Yourself On Fire", the third album in the history of Stars will be released in Canada.

Recorded largely in Montreal and mixed by Tony Hoffer (Air, Beck, Phoenix, Grandaddy), Set Yourself On Fire sees Stars build upon their already acclaimed catalogue of songs about life, love, death, heartbreak. and the need to set yourself on fire when there's nothing left to burn."

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 21:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

having finally heard this album all the way through i've decided i really like it. it's not amazingly catchy IMO but the songs sound lovely and it's pretty consistent.

the surface noise (slight return) (electricsound), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

actually listening to "elevator love letter" right now, scratch the "not catchy" bit

the surface noise (slight return) (electricsound), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 22:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Check out "Look Up" as well.......

kickitcricket (kickitcricket), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Death to Death" sounds like a long lost track from Technique!

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

...and "Romantic Comedy" is catchy in a 80s sitcom theme way (but sadder *and* happier at the same time!).

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Individual tracks on Heart blew me away. I'm definitely curious to hear more.

manthony m1cc1o (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

For the record I *love* the first track "What the Snowman Learned About Love" - it's just so lushly sad. And "Heart" is incredible too.

Also, check out Nightsongs which some people like even more.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:24 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm liking the sound of this. Any tour news?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Don't know, not until after November. I believe that Amy Millan is working on a solo album. She has an amazing song called "Bury Me" that I think runs over the credits to Drowning Mona.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(I should say that's because they're touring Canada in Nov.)

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"Heart" is probably my fave

manthony m1cc1o (Anthony Miccio), Wednesday, 29 September 2004 23:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure why I don't own this album yet. "Elevator Love Letter" is fantastic, as is "Death to Death".

derrick (derrick), Thursday, 30 September 2004 05:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
I only just found Heart (for really really cheap!). I'm only five songs in but I like this a lot. Early-period Auteurs and The Aluminum Group mixed with bits of Saint Etienne, yeah?

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 10 April 2005 10:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

was 'really cheap' $10? for some reason i see secondhand copies of it everywhere round here.

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Sunday, 10 April 2005 12:48 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

$5 at the Prahran JB Hi-Fi! I think they have another copy if you want to get it for a friend...

I think I'd only ever seen Set Yourself On Fire before this, and for $35 or something.

Ha ha Jim have we found another band apart from Fleetwood Mac we both like?? (were there any others? probably)

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Sunday, 10 April 2005 20:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

heh. coloma too!

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Sunday, 10 April 2005 22:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

fantastic all through; i have a copy now, and love it.
search:
Elevator Love Letter
Death To Death
Look Up
Don't Be Afraid To Sing

re: StEt, Ian Catt was so impressed with the first album that he offered to work with them, and mixed three of the songs on 'Heart'.

derrick (derrick), Sunday, 10 April 2005 22:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I'm halfway through my second "proper" headphones listen and loving everything so so much. In feel (rather than sound) it reminds me a lot of a subtler version of the Future Bible Heroes' Memories of Love - that sense of giddy melancholy or melancholy giddiness. At other times the lush romanticism reminds me a bit of The Blue Nile.

Tim Finney (Tim Finney), Monday, 11 April 2005 02:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
My new friend and I refer to "Elevator Love Letter" as "Art Directors in Love" - it's still one of my top 5 songs of the millennium.

Spencer Chow (spencermfi), Monday, 11 July 2005 19:14 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i like to sing "alligator.. alligator.. take me home" instead

shine headlights on me (electricsound), Monday, 11 July 2005 22:37 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

i think the lustre has faded for me, re. this band. though they are good.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Monday, 11 July 2005 23:36 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
after the other Stars thread got revived, ended up unable to get away from "Elevator Love Letter" - listening to it on repeat, singing the chorus to myself at all times, &c&c&c - I'm a sucker for vague nuclear apocalypsentiments (see: Mestar's "Secret Garden").

"Lovefool" meets Loveless?

etc, Thursday, 20 October 2005 22:54 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

Stars is where ilm and I part ways. I do like "Elevator Love Letter", though.

Lukas (lukas), Thursday, 20 October 2005 23:21 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

but you clicked on this thread? so much for parting ways.

cutty (mcutt), Thursday, 20 October 2005 23:22 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

He means parting ways on judgement, which process is of the very essence of participation in ILM.

Momus (Momus), Friday, 21 October 2005 07:16 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

thirteen years pass...

listening to this to the first time after many years of avoiding a revisit, as it's associated with a very...specific set of moments. still probably the definitive Canadian indie-pop record of at least the last 20 years. and much more solid than any of their follow-ups. I wish they hadn't felt the need to "rock out" or go more heavily conceptual/ambitious on the records that followed.

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Thursday, 7 March 2019 01:24 (one month ago) Permalink

"elevator love letter" still one of the perfect indie pop songs

ciderpress, Thursday, 7 March 2019 01:31 (one month ago) Permalink

it is a perfect song but these days I gravitate more towards the feather-light Saint Etienne style deep cuts that are wittier than I remember

Who made you happy last night?
I don't know his name but Christ can he fight

bhad bundy (Simon H.), Thursday, 7 March 2019 01:34 (one month ago) Permalink

Early-period Auteurs and The Aluminum Group mixed with bits of Saint Etienne, yeah?

Thread comes through: nostalgia fix satiated.

enochroot, Thursday, 7 March 2019 01:43 (one month ago) Permalink

one month passes...

When I was 23 and these guys were pushing 30 I was like “why does it have to be so twee, you are adults, I don’t get it”

Now I am old and my emotions remain childish and I’ve been listening to Stars all week and they are amazing

Weird band to grow into loving

flamboyant goon tie included, Friday, 12 April 2019 14:17 (one week ago) Permalink

I still like both albums, but Set Yourself on Fire > Heart. In Our Bedroom After The War had a lot to like about it, too... 'Take Me To The Riot', 'Midnight Coward'... I lost interest after The Five Ghosts, though.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Friday, 12 April 2019 14:29 (one week ago) Permalink

i read fgti's post. i don't remember "heart," but i remember liking the next three or so albums a lot, but fell off them in early 10s. so i pull up this album, hear first spoken intro- ohh, yeah, i def know this song and recall the album now. so i rewind the thread to 2003. "oh fuck, i remember _reading_ this thread, in the DU library? around SYOF? how can i...know that?"

*tbi brain: you DON'T. better now?*

this feeling is not even nostalgic, it's sort of like a cold hard spray from a hose. that aside, i am enjoying the music.

Hunt3r, Friday, 12 April 2019 14:44 (one week ago) Permalink

i love the nightsongs LP cover art. something about it. 'on peak hill' is a big one.

meaulnes, Friday, 12 April 2019 23:50 (one week ago) Permalink

oh and '14 forever' from the sad robots EP is a deep cut

meaulnes, Friday, 12 April 2019 23:50 (one week ago) Permalink

oh man I love the new order-ism's of No One Is Lost.
tempted to say they haven't made a bad album.

campreverb, Saturday, 13 April 2019 17:28 (one week ago) Permalink

There is definitely a gulf between their "great songs" and their "bad songs". I never picked up until this year just how deeply informed by Morrissey's melody-writing this band is... I don't know any other artist who has so transparently cribbed that singular style of melody-writing

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 13 April 2019 17:33 (one week ago) Permalink

Amy Millan admitted it! I know that 'How Much More' from The Five Ghosts was one where Amy Millan was deliberately trying to be Morrissey.

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 13 April 2019 19:29 (one week ago) Permalink

I don't know any other artist who has so transparently cribbed that singular style of melody-writing

Have you heard of The Organ? Also Canadian, and I think they give Stars a run for the money in the transparent cribbing game.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJ5ccnKDWME

dorsalstop, Saturday, 13 April 2019 19:48 (one week ago) Permalink

Meant to just post a link, apologies.

dorsalstop, Saturday, 13 April 2019 19:48 (one week ago) Permalink

You're RIGHT duh of course they also are Morrissey-cribbers

flamboyant goon tie included, Saturday, 13 April 2019 19:58 (one week ago) Permalink

oh man I love the new order-ism's of No One Is Lost.
tempted to say they haven't made a bad album.

― campreverb, Saturday, April 13, 2019 5:28 PM (two hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I'll have to give all the post-Five Ghosts stuff another chance (or a first-time listen in the case of some of it) ... Which is generally considered the best of their stuff from this decade?

Le Baton Rose (Turrican), Saturday, 13 April 2019 20:05 (one week ago) Permalink

The North is great (and is more New Order than No One is Lost imo) - try "Hold On When You Get Love..."

dorsalstop, Saturday, 13 April 2019 20:34 (one week ago) Permalink

100% on 'Hold On When You Get Love', 'Backlines' from that album too.
'This is the Last Time' and 'Are You Ok?' from No One Is Lost.
The latter brings me back to a recent bad breakup and oh man.

campreverb, Sunday, 14 April 2019 17:17 (one week ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.