Montreal's Stars are certainly a theatrical bunch (and not just because co-frontman Torquil Campbell is also an actor). Their passionate delivery of love and breakup songs--often sung dialogue-style between male frontman Campbell and female lead Amy Millan--is a compelling combination of musicianship and dramatic intensity. In Our Bedroom After the War
is similar in style to Set Yourself on Fire
--albeit a little gentler and more intimate in tone--capturing the many varied elements that Stars do best. "Midnight Coward" begins with Millan's gentle voice singing "sweetness never suits me," then eventually expands into an abundant, symphonic-sounding conclusion. "The Ghost of Genova Heights" features co-vocalist Torquil Campbell evoking a Scissor Sisters funkiness, which may surprise some fans. "My Favourite Book" is a bright, sunny spot showcasing Millan's penchant for smooth, silky jazz-pop a la Morcheeba or The Style Council. Throughout, the group remains poets-cum-performers--topics range from love between political protestors ("Barricade") to emotive hook-up attempts between personal-ad users ("Personal"), always done with lush musicianship that's often Moulin Rouge-esque at its core. Note to diehard fans: the limited-edition version of the disc is well worth the investment, featuring a captivating hour-long DVD that is part travelogue, part interview, and is filled with impressive clips from live shows throughout Europe and North America. --Denise Sheppard
On September 25, Stars will release their fourth studio album, In Our Bedroom After The War. It's Stars' most confident and compelling work to date, an album that showcases the seven years of experience they share as a band. It was recorded at the Warehouse Studios in Vancouver, BC and mixed by Joe Chiccarelli (The White Stripes, The Shins, Morrissey). For a limited time, In Our Bedroom After The War will include a bonus DVD featuring a 55-minute documentary of Stars' live performances and interviews while touring Set Yourself on Fire.