Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Beats - The Stars "In Our Bedroom After the War"

As a new feature for this website, I am going to do a record Review once a week. These will largely be positive reviews, there's more than enough good music out there without wasting time telling you about music I don't like.

I came to this album in a weird way. I liked their last album ("Set Yourself on Fire") well enough but thought it was more of an interesting misstep rather than a good album on it's own. It had some great songs of course. "Soft Revolution" and "Your Ex-Lover is Dead." So I was planning on buying the album, but wasn't exactly expecting it to be incredible. Just another album of emo-rock I could put in when I got in the mood. On Monday I had the day off and a coupon for Borders, so I picked it up (along with Prodigy's Greatest Hits collection, something you'd think I'd have bought a long time ago). That night I had a friend over and he noted that he'd heard the "In Our Bedroom After the War" and wasn't impressed. I hadn't listened to it yet at that point (although I had watched the DVD). So when I listened to it, it already had two strikes against it.

Fortunately the lead off track (after the introductory "The Beginning After the End") is The Night Starts Here which is probably the best song The Stars have ever done. It's just a beautiful flowing song the sets the tone for something to happen. It's been used in a promo for the NBC show "Friday Night Lights" (given the way the lyrics sync up with the shots on screen and the general professionalism, I have a hard time believing this isn't an official NBC Promo. I could be wrong, and if I am, kudos to whoever did it).

That is the best song on the album, but it's far from the only great one. "Take Me to the Riot" is a great song and rocks out as much as Stars are allowed to. "The Ghost of Genova Heights" is creepy with a bit of a falsetto chorus (reminded me a bit of Jamouriqoui). "Window Bird" is a lovely showcase for Amy Milan. "Personal" has both Even Cranly and Milan singing and is a somewhat sad song, as it relates a sketchy attempt to connect via Personals and failing to do so.

Finally the ending. "Today Will be Better I Swear" and "In Our Bedroom After the War" are two gorgeous songs and ultimately hopeful. It's interesting to note that the last album which had the title "Set Yourself on Fire" struck me as a much more resigned album. This one, after the fire has burnt out, perhaps, shows the Stars finding there's still a lot to love that hasn't been burnt by the fires of the 21st century.

Anyway if nothing else seek out "The Night Starts Here." Brilliant song.

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