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The Five Ghosts
Indie chills and thrills from grief stricken electro popsters
Ed Power, 12 Aug 2010
Recorded after singer Torquil Campbell’s father died suddenly of a heart-attack, The Five Ghosts is haunted by goodbyes left unsaid and desires never consummated. At the album’s heart is a series of cooing back-and-forths between former Law & Order actor Campbell and sometime Broken Social Scene warbler Amy Milan: ‘Wasted Daylight’ is Belle and Sebastian trapped in a Swedish art house movie; on ‘I Died So I Could Haunt’ Campbell tries to re-write M.R. James in the style of Stephin Merritt, while sad-disco synths burble in the background. Best of all is ‘We Don’t Want Your Body’, a sugar-spun electro-thumper where Milan gets to deliver a knee-in-the-groin putdown to the frontman’s overheated come-ons. Somewhat livelier than 2007’s portentous In Our Bedroom After The War, Stars’ fifth album nonetheless falls short of career best Set Yourself On Fire.
Still, it’s good to encounter at least one Canadian album this fortnight which doesn’t want to thunk a metaphorical mandolin over your head, so overweening is its self-importance.
Key track: ‘We Don’t Want Your Body’