5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: The Five Ghosts (Audio CD)
'The Five Ghosts' is a beautiful recording. Canadian band Stars have a line
of fine albums stretching back behind them to their 2001 debut 'Nightsongs'.
They have always been musicians of imagination and vision. Melody and
emotion have rarely been such comfortable bedfellows, not least because
of the magic which Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell weave together with
their fine voices.
There are eleven tracks on their new release and the title is in many ways apt.
This is haunting music. With quiet footsteps it finds its way into your heart
and just won't go away (not that one would ever want it to!) There are some
truly lovely tunes in evidence here. Within a short while you find yourself
humming or singing along despite yourself.
Opening track 'Dead Hearts' is a dialogue of questions and answers
between Mr Campbell and Ms Millan whose simple folksy charm is given
greater substance through the delightful vocal harmonies and warmth
of the consummately crafted instrumental arrangement. Enchanting!
It's the balance between thematic simplicity, textural complexity and the
ability to tell a good tale which gives the band its unique and beguiling sound.
'I Died So I Could Haunt You' is a moving little three minute drama which leaves
powerful emotional ripples in its wake. A model of compositional economy.
'He Dreams He's Awake' begins as a slow-moving dirge which finds Mr Campbell
struggling to put one foot in front of the other. The claustrophobic atmosphere
wraps around him and us like a dense grey fog . Suffocating and strange.
In contrast 'Changes' is a reassuringly pretty tune delivered with charming
dead-pan poise by a sultry Ms Millan. Were it not for the uneasy shifting
minor key chords deep down in the mix it might almost be a pop song.
'How Much More' is almost frisky compared with all that we have heard so-far.
(For a couple of wayward moments Blondie came to mind!) I caught Mrs Wolf
dancing to it in the kitchen when she didn't think I was looking!
Now that the days are becoming noticeably shorter final track 'Winter
Bones' seems an entirely apt ending to this dark but captivating project.
'The Five Ghosts' may well be the ideal soundtrack to the cold,
wet and windy months ahead. Brrrrrr!
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Showing 1-4 of 4 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Sep 2010 15:44:22 BDT
Last edited by the author on 11 Sep 2010 15:44:59 BDT
GM Jones says:
Excellent review, sir! And I completely agree. The Five Ghosts is a gorgeous record, as moving and haunting as its title.
In reply to an earlier post on 11 Sep 2010 19:28:52 BDT
The Wolf says:
Many thanks for your kind comments.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2010 14:44:31 BDT
Mr. Christopher Dunlop says:
Chris Seligman is the keyboard player. The male singer is Torquil Campbell.
In reply to an earlier post on 13 Sep 2010 18:49:33 BDT
The Wolf says:
Dear Mr C.D.
What a silly Old Wolf I am!
Many thanks for your helpful observation.
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