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Stars
SET YOURSELF ON FIRE
(Arts and Crafts)

You may know Montrealís Stars as a side project featuring members of Broken Social Scene, whom theyíve also toured with. Set Yourself on Fire, the groupís third album, tells melancholy tales of beautiful losers while combatting their twee pop tendencies with prog-rock noise, grandiose baroque strings, and buzzing electronics. The one-night stand of "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead" has vocalists Torquin Campbell and Amy Millan trading barbs like "I was trying to remember your name"; itís punctuated by chiming guitars and orchestral strings that evoke exquisite urban ennui. On their solo turns, Campbellís fey whisper suits the bouncing bass of "Reunion"; ditto Millanís clear bell for the prettiest ballad, "Calendar Girl." Millanís vocals also float gracefully over the fuzzy Jesus and Mary Chain guitars of "Ageless Beauty," and Postal ServiceĖlike electronics serve the Bush baiting of "He Lied About Death," with Campbell spitting, "I hope your drunken daughters are gay!" Thereís a real vitality to Starsí journey through the politics of love as they screw and struggle and assert on "Soft Revolution" that "We are here to save your life."

(Stars open for Ivy this Tuesday, May 3, at the Paradise Rock Club, 967 Commonwealth Avenue in Boston; call 617-228-6000.)

BY ELISABETH DONNELLY


Issue Date: April 29 - May 5, 2005
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