When it comes to crafting melodramatic, cinematic pop music, Stars are in a league of their own. Though they may not have recaptured the jubilation of their career high point, Set Yourself On Fire, Stars have put together another very nice album that fits snuggly into the overarching theme of Stars music. If you've been paying attention, you'll have noticed that Stars started as a synth-heavy pop band and slowly transformed into a symphonic pop rock band, but recently they've been returning back to that first sound, as heard on their excellent Sad Robots EP, which was awash with synthesizer and distorted-beyond-recognition guitars. The Five Ghosts has continued the trend, leaving behind some of Stars signature orchestration in favor of the sound of their early-career works. However, unlike the early career in which Torquil was the primary singer, this album stands as a showcase for the incredible vocal talents of Amy Millan, who I personally think is the best female vocalist in popular music. She lives and breathes the heartbroken vocal melodies heard throughout the record, and Torq takes a backseat, providing ample vocal support but leading only a few of the eleven tracks. This is an album for Stars fans, not one designed to bring as many new ones into the fold. Not their strongest effort and sadly likely to be ignored in a year full of stellar releases, the Five Ghosts is nonetheless a record worth listening to, owning, and cherishing as part of the excellent Stars canon.