Thursday, August 09, 2007


Review: In Our Bedroom After the War

Taking a break from the discussion of Europe for the time being--don't worry, it'll be back in full force discussing things like why London is better than Paris, and some specific commentary on the GTL program--I'd like to review the new Stars CD. If you don't know Stars (not "The Stars" interestingly enough, given the preponderance of similar bands whose names start with "The") you really ought to. Think a little Postal Service but less electronic, a little Rilo Kiley but less folksy, perhaps a dash of the Arcade Fire or Sufjan Stevens? Now move it north across the border, and you've got the best thing to come out of Canada since... well... it's good music.

Upon listening to this album for the first time, I committed a cardinal sin of music review: doing something else besides listening to the music. That's right: I reduced In Our Bedroom to background noise while I was conducting room inventories. (Most of the towel racks were actually there!) And it's not deserving of such a fate, really. So I resolved to change things the second time I listened to it. And what ended up happening? Door decorations and welcome letters, that's what. Frustrated, I vowed to set aside time to listen to this music and do nothing else. Then I started humming "Take Me to the Riot" and "The Night Starts Here" without even realizing it.

This is one of those albums that starts too strong for its own good. The aforementioned songs are excellent, certainly the two highest quality here, and a couple of the best I've heard since Wincing the Night Away came out. After that, the rest of the songs seem to fall a little flat, when they certainly don't deserve that. Final Fantasy fans will be interested to hear that one of the more creative songs on the album is called "The Ghost of Genova Heights"... a reference to Sephiroth's mom? "Personal" is lyrically brilliant, then we get to some songs whose names I can't remember, then the title track ends the album better than any last track I think I have ever heard.

AbsolutePunk.Net loved this album too, maybe even a bit more than I did. The reviewer there said not since Sufjan Stevens' Illinoise had he heard something to magnificent. While the comparison to that great bastion of indie music might be a little unwarranted, the point is made: In Our Bedroom After the War is an excellent collection of music, and not to be missed.

Currently listening (additionally): The Official Lost Podcast, ComicCon edition

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