Release Date: Mar 8, 2005
Record label: Arts & Crafts
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The artwork for Stars' Set Yourself on Fire is eye-catching and dramatic, like a protest painting or Keith Haring subway drawing. And that's before you find the inside shot of a woman in a ski mask and little else, contemplating a flaming hand torch. The art direction's boldness complements the maturity in Stars' music, where nothing's just indie pop and string arrangements sound as perfect as the keyboards.
This third album from the Canadian five-piece is a rich, multi-layered thing of beauty - but it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. "When there's nothing else to burn, you have to set yourself on fire," a voice of doom instructs; it is the perfect introduction to these tales of lost, broken and abandoned love. Brief thrills and murdered passions turn glossy in a warm glow of harmonies and a cascade of hard synths and feathery strings.
Stars are Romantics. Unabashedly. Like a musical equivalent to the films of Richard Linklater, or the novels of someone I wouldn’t want to read. Their last record, Heart, kicked off with each member personally offering up his or her heart. Set Yourself on Fire starts in similar fashion, but it.