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CD of The Week

Week of 10/30/17

    Stars - There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light (Last Gang)

    Now on album number nine, Stars has proven their mettle over the better part of the past two decades. They've risen amongst the rebuilding alternative music scene of the early 2000s and have their fingerprints all over the rise of the Canadian indie pop world as part of the Arts & Crafts record label. Almost exactly three years since their last release No One Is Lost, Stars have moved over to Last Gang Records, checking in with There Is No Love In Fluorescent Light. It's an album that means what it says with this title. We show ourselves in the light, at least as much as what we will allow. However, the cohesive duo of Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan take us into the darkness for 50 minutes where we alone are left to sort everything out and re-construct what is part of us.

    Many of the themes written about tend to be straightforward, given the names of the track. Right out the jump, "Privilege," is a hot start - a track for unrealized intentions. De facto titular track "Fluorescent Light," is a duet on the aforementioned theme where the kinship must venture out of the comfort zone that is the light in order to grow with each other in the spirt of trepidation. "Alone" is a hopeful desire of shedding one's shell. Deeper into the album, with tracks like "On the Hills" and "The Maze," you can also hear the influence of producer Peter Katis, longtime producer for The National, working with this band for the first time. While their past records were known for their pulsating sing-a-longs with firework-like grandiose, on There is No Love In Fluorescent Light, we have a much more controlled and tempered passion.

    Ultimately, Stars remain the reliably gratifying and eloquent band we know and love. These themes and lyrics - we recognize, expect, and enjoy them. The album functions like an acquaintance you've remained in touch with at arm's length for the last 17 years or so. They have imparted their wisdom to us once again and will do so once more in due time when we're all ready for each other again.
    Review by Joshua X

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