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[Off The Record]
Stars graphics
For Stars
WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL PEOPLE
(Future Farmer)

The spare instrumentation and evocative lyrics found on this bandís first couple of releases located them as part of a moody trinity of post-punk Bay Area indie-pop outfits with the better-known Red House Painters and American Music Club. And We Are All Beautiful People makes it clear that For Stars are quite happy with that designation. The disc finds the band augmenting their stripped-down guitar-based songs with restrained flourishes of noise that donít detract from the overall sense of hushed beauty; it hints of Minnesota slo-core specialists Low as well as the ethereally elegant Sub Pop band Trembling Blue Stars. " There Was a River " brims with sadness, as ghostly synths, lonely piano, crooning vocals, and strummed guitar build to a transcendent climax that seems to suggest a ray of hope amid the albumís pervading sense of loss. Elsewhere, washes of melancholy piano ( " The Astronaut Song " ), burbling synths ( " How It Goes " ), haunting vibes ( " Wires " ), and orchestral strings ( " In Open Plains " ) complement the ebb and flow of mixed emotions, adding layers of sonic sophistication to the mix without compromising the crucial simplicity of the For Stars sound.

BY ANNIE ZALESKI

Issue Date: August 16 - 23, 2001





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