- Audio CD (11 Oct. 2003)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Sony Music CMG
- ASIN: B0000D91HQ
- Other Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,800 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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EX CD RCA, 82876 56274 2, 2003, 10 Track
Stellastarr*'s Stellastarr* arrives with absolutely zeitgeist-perfect timing. Along with fellow New York art-pop brothers-in-arms the Rapture and Hot Hot Heat, Stellastarr* lead the vanguard of the kinetic 80s-obsessives currently making the Detroit garage boys' dad-rock and the Strokes' late-70s new-wave shtick sound a little, well, yesterday. It's this kind of scenester one-upmanship that put the Strokes' aquiline noses out of joint when Stellastarr*'s artist frontman Shawn Christensen painted them as corporate Pez-candy dispensers.
But it's music that counts. Sure, they're a to-die-for line-up of good-looks, angled cheekbones and art-house chic, with a drop-dead-gorgeous indie girl on bass guitar, but it's the songs on this, their debut, that are really sexy. Bursts of Duran Duran synthesizers, underpinned with Joy Division basslines, rub up against long-forgotten Cure-style chiming indie guitars, the complex song structures welding 80s pop sensibility to 90s fast/slow, quiet/loud, girl/boy early-grunge dynamics.
The album does sag a little in the middle: there's a touch too much B52's quirkiness, and the Big Country chunky-knit guitars sound overblown. Debut single, "Somewhere Across Forever", for example, overdoes the hairslide-fringed Bis-esque cutesiness. But the Robert Smith-snogging-Kim Deal clash of storming stand-out second single "Jenny" is four minutes of thrilling catharsis climaxing in Pumpkins guitars and Christensen screaming "Oh my God... she'll be coming after you in the summertime"; and the bittersweet bedsitland melancholia of "Untitled" is heartbreakingly moving. Ultimately, Stellastarr* inject a timely dose of drama and passion back into indie rock. And if they skip the twee stuff and don't disappear up their own Ooberman, they could be the next Pixies. --Paul Eisinger
Top customer reviews
The only problem I foresee for Stellastarr* is that they have been labelled as another Strokes. The Strokes, they are not. More on par with Interpol than the Strokes, with there influences coming from the Joy Division and The Pixies. Going back to the timing, the album is released near enough to the Strokes album to be consumed by the mass hysteria that will surround them. This is just very bad timing on the record company's part.
Don't get me wrong, I think the Strokes are equally great, just I feel there is more to American music than just them.
The album it self includes the recently released single Jenny, which is a brilliant track. Also included are two tracks from the aforementioned EP 'Somewhere Across Forever', the title track and No Weather. These two tracks alone will make this album one of the albums of the year.
Being embraced by the music media, where they have not been the open mind to listen to the music, but also passed off as another American Band by those without the decency to see them as individuals, Stellastarr* may have a stormy ride, but hey what a way to ride into the storm.
*** Like:- Joy Division meets Interpol, but not necessarily The Strokes ***
Stellastarr* are a band who have defied convention at almost every turn, with members who'd rather have been painters, filmmakers or actors than rock stars. When the band was first formed, the frontman had only been playing the acoustic guitar for six months, the drummer had been drumming for six weeks, and the bassist had never laid her hands on a bass guitar... Well, from tiny acorns and all that...
The result of numerous gigs shaping their sound, around New York city and beyond, Stellastarr* have evolved into one of the most perfectly formed rock groups you could find... They've been slotted nicely into the pigeonhole formed for New York bands in the aftermath of the Strokes - but don't let that put you off - whether you like the Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, or any of the other current "it" bands or not, there's plenty here to give your ears a good workout...
The closest comparison I can come up with, and the one that springs immediately to mind when listening to this scintillating debut, is the Pixies... Stellastarr* come with much more of a pop sensibility compared to the Pixies though - this is an album of irresistible hooks and irrepresible melodies, backed up with chiming indie rock guitars and elaborate song writing...
It's near impossible to pick a stand-out in such a consistently great album, but mentions have to go to the likes of the dark, almost Joy Division-esque In The Walls, the fabulously exuberant "My Coco" which builds to an exultant crescendo of overlapping vocals, or the surprisingly tender and moving "Untitled"... One track for a desert island though? It's got to be "Jenny", just for the pure adrenaline rush that song produces...
The New York scene at the moment is a melting pot of great talent and superb music, and Stellastarr* are fully deserving of a place up alongside the Strokes at the forefront of the scene... This is a record the demands to be listened to, again and again and again - don't refuse the call...
Without wanting to exclude, put off, or label, Stellastarr* would appeal to fans of Interpol, New Order, or even the broader minded Strokes fan. However, people who don't like these bands should not dismiss Stellastarr* as they are by no means limited by any specific genre.
Most recent customer reviews
if you have, you'll be disappointed. this is one of the worst albums i have heard in a long time and that's being...Read more