Stars

There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light

Last Gang/EOne

Oct 13, 2017 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

Having started in nascent form at the beginning of the millennium, it's safe to say Stars are old hands at this whole indie pop thing by now. The Canadian five-piece is onto its eighth full-length, and if There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light is a long way from setting anything on fire, never mind matching peak Stars Set Yourself on Fire, it's a comfortingly pleasant experience.

The ease with which a new record by Stars slides by is both a strength and weakness. It guarantees a certain degree of quality, while promising nothing new, and little in the way of genuine excitement. Keyboards, synths, guitar, and a whole lot of love send songs back to the '80s where they float around sounding generally delightful.

Opener "Privilege" flies straight in, letting Amy Millan's dreamy vocals take charge. She is the more upbeat side of the singing coin, Torquill Campbell going for full heartfelt earnestness. The two are so comfortable together they trade lines on "Fluorescent Light" with ease, joining faultlessly.

That's the line Stars walk. They roll through zippy verses into a big chorus, signaling when a dramatic climax is going to come as they do on "Alone" with a horn section, and then delivering it. When it works, we get the highs of "Alone," or the almost conversational "We Called It Love," which begins as a lost cousin to something off The The's Soul Mining, before running itself down into a funky mix of percussion, bass, and vocals.

There Is No Love in Fluorescent Light is an album on rails, sticking solidly to the tracks with never a thought of deviation. It's also a route we've travelled many times by now. Yes, it looks familiar, but it'll still get you there in the end. (www.youarestars.com)

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