Harmonies For The Haunted

  • Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 13, 2005

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Magnet
    Picks up where [their debut] left off. [#69, p.108]
  2. Overall, the effect is post-punk Cure with swathes of Ride in heady moments and, as overblown and unlistenable as these amassed elements might sound in your head, it's actually fantastic.
  3. Stellastarr* pushes its new grasp of tension and release, and the album shows their increased sense of cohesion.
  4. It is missing IT - that something that makes a good album into a great, standout album.
  5. Stellastarr sound playful but passionate, flashing their Eighties go-feet beats ("Damn This Foolish Heart") alongside moody, Cure-style ballads.
  6. Paste Magazine
    A pleasurable, spun-sugar confection. [Oct/Nov 2005, p.122]
  7. Mojo
    A charged return. [Mar 2006, p.96]
  8. Harmonies for the Haunted seems as familiar as Stellastarr*'s 2003 debut, and that's at once its chief cincher and problem.
  9. A game of "name that influence" runs rampant from the album's start to its closing seconds.
  10. Blender
    Often, it's too much of a good thing. [Sep 2005, p.137]
  11. Urb
    The addition of elegiac, slower songs ensure that this post-punk quarter is only moving forward. [Oct 2005, p.85]
  12. Q Magazine
    Good, but should have been better. [Mar 2006, p.109]
  13. For every good example of what a 21st century band can do with new wave influences, there is a pale imitation of a song you thought was cool 20 years ago.
  14. Alternative Press
    The band ultimately lose the pop craftsmanship and hook-filled bite that distinguished their debut. [Oct 2005, p.166]
  15. Under The Radar
    Has the unmistakable sound of a sophomore slump. [#10, p.107]
  16. What gave Shawn Christensen and his botched tonsillectomy the idea of joining the exalted ranks of Robert Smith and Simon Le Bon?
  17. On first listen 'Harmonies For The Haunted' seems slight enough to be a collection of b-sides and discarded songs from the first album.
  18. Some promising tunes are weighed down by Shawn Christensen's vocals, which seem to have been invented purely to supply budding Simon Cowells with cruel one-liners.
  19. The problem is Shawn Christensen's bellowingly unsubtle vocal style, which batters every last vestige of restraint out of its way as it strains for greater heights of veins-bulging volume-as-passion.
  20. Uncut
    Rather desperately impersonates The Killers. [Mar 2006, p.94]
  21. Spin
    People from New York trying to sound like people from England trying to imagine what Neil Young would sound like if he were in Coldplay. [Oct 2005, p.137]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. Sebastian
    Mar 5, 2007
    Stellastarr*'s first album was so catchy and very Pixies-like. This one does suffer the "sophomore slump".
  2. ryann
    Mar 2, 2006
    this is the BEST band ever and i recomend it to all ppls k lol
  3. JoaquinS
    Jan 19, 2006
    This is an enjoyable album from start to finish. Judge it on its own merits and not how it stacks up to their first album or the albums of This is an enjoyable album from start to finish. Judge it on its own merits and not how it stacks up to their first album or the albums of the bands that influence them. Critics and would-be critics do the same thing to Oasis. If you like Stellastarr's influences, you'll like Stellastarr. They're not the most original band, but they're one of the most fun to listen to, and at the end of the day, that's really what it's all about. Full Review »