Tuned In To Music

Reflections from a lifetime

Review: Stars, In Our Bedroom After the War

It’s not uncommon for people in their twenties to discover that the landscape of possible relationships with lovers is vastly more nuanced and encompasses partnership roles bedroomthat are much more varied than the crude and simple stereotypes popularized by TV talk shows, pseudo-science pop psychology, and other forms of popular media.  It’s the first real step on the long and never-ending path of developing richness and depth in human relationships.  Some people never take that step and some retreat from it in confusion while others make some sense of it, pass through and move further down the road.  It’s a place where the heart and mind open to possibilities and subtleties unglimpsed beforehand.  It’s the place where Stars lives.

“In Our Bedroom After the War”, like it’s predecessor “Set Yourself On Fire“, explores the complex terrain of relationships using the lyrical technique and beautifully intertwined vocals of Amy Millan and Torquill Campbell.  The other members of the band are Evan Cranley (guitars), Chris Seligman (keyboards), and Pat Mcgee (drums).  The instrument listings are deceptive as every member of the band, Millan and Torquill included, play many instruments.  This is a very talented group of musicians.  Like “Set Yourself on Fire”, “In Our Bedroom After the War” uses an array of musician friends to expand on the already rich musical palette of the core band members.  Also like “Set Yourself on Fire” the new album employs a wide range of musical styles to convey the emotions and ideas contained in the songs.  There are few bands that as adept as Stars at using instrumentation and timbre in service of the song.  The music tends toward moodiness and contemplation but that reflects the nature of the time of life Stars are immersed in.

I expect the response of many listeners to Stars will be related to their own stage of development along the road of human relationships.  Those who never negotiated the initial steps into complexity and nuance that Stars are exploring will likely find their music fairly uninteresting.  Those who are on the same part of the path as Stars may find their music revelatory and endlessly interesting.  Those who have traveled further down the road may appreciate the clarity and sophistication that Stars brings to their consideration of the early stages of affairs of the heart.  They may also find that one CD of this material is enough, after all it is only exploring one early section of a long and endlessly fascinating journey.  If they can maintain the same clarity of vision and musical sophistication they’ve displayed thus far, I’d love to hear what these guys have to say thirty years further on down the road.

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12/22/2007 - Posted by | CD reviews, music, music reviews

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