September 27, 2007

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Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War
Arts & Crafts Records, Sept. 25
There’s more to some wine-snob indie-pop bands than meets the exposed nerve. Stars are a Montreal-based fivesome providing employment to three members of Broken Social Scene, the “indie supergroup” (ignore the oxymoron, folks, nothing to see here) that spends most of its offstage time writing Juno Award acceptance speeches and, more recently, murdering hundreds of trees in order that the new albums from Stars and Kevin Drew can have more superfluous paper jammed into them than an iPhone bill. If you love Feist’s way with sexless balladry and quiet-to-quietly-loud you’ll find a lot to like about Amy Millan’s vocal contributions to this album, but it must be said that even if you’re the sort who bolts for the nearest set of Zack de la Roca lyrics when perpetual college-clique honkys start pulling out violins and trumpets, surgery may still be required to get some of the chunkier songs out of your head, notably “Take Me to the Riot” (Kaiser Chiefs on a Spandau Ballet bender) and the Millan-sung shoegaze indulgence “Window Bird.” B-Eric W. Saeger