• Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 13, 2005
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35

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  1. MarkA
    Oct 20, 2005
    9
    The first time i heard this record i wasnt impressed, but the second listen grabbed me. Its a superb follow on to a debut that should have definitely had more listeners. It's superior to bands of the same genre, such as the Killers and the Bravery, in every way.
  2. ExecutionerJones
    Oct 4, 2005
    9
    It's a great album.Most of the bad reviews just didn't get it.EVERY band has influences, but Stellastarr* mix theirs up to make a sound that is unmistakable for anyone else.Shawn's singing is also one of their strengths.It's a powerful unique voice like Eddie Vedder or David Byrne.That jerk at popmatters obviously hadn't heard their debut album, didn't know It's a great album.Most of the bad reviews just didn't get it.EVERY band has influences, but Stellastarr* mix theirs up to make a sound that is unmistakable for anyone else.Shawn's singing is also one of their strengths.It's a powerful unique voice like Eddie Vedder or David Byrne.That jerk at popmatters obviously hadn't heard their debut album, didn't know their style, and called them a clone of the killers and interpol even though they came first! Their debut was a 10 for me and while this one doesn't have the same crazyness it's more even. I like every song on it,and to me "On my own" is Shawn's best written song. just beautiful. Expand
  3. Shane
    Sep 14, 2005
    8
    I'm surprised the reviews for this are so bad. I think it's a very good CD. Every band has a sound that derives from other bands. I don't think stellastarr* have such an unoriginal sound it effects the music. Damn this Foolish Heart is my favorite track. If you liked their first CD, don't be fooled by the ratings. This is a good CD. It's just as hook-laden as the other.
  4. TomB
    Sep 17, 2005
    5
    Anyone who takes the time to add the asterisk to the band name is a dork. What a mediocre band. They should rename themselves 5.0.
  5. ryann
    Mar 2, 2006
    10
    this is the BEST band ever and i recomend it to all ppls k lol
  6. ShannonM
    Oct 12, 2005
    9
    A major talent. Another great album. The last was better but this is excellent - Lost in Time and Sweet Troubled Soul are better than any songs on the previous album
  7. ZachM
    Nov 27, 2005
    0
    whats wrong with you all? this is definitely the worst Bowie rip-off i've ever heard.
  8. MaribelA
    Oct 15, 2005
    10
    I love it:) All expect for track #2 I like. I've been waiting for something like this to come along.
  9. Zuuz
    Oct 24, 2005
    8
    I really dont understand the obessions with influences. This band is obviously influenced by many bands good and not as good, but that shouldnt hurt it. Just judge the music. I like this cd because while it loses some of its hooky charm the band demonstrates more depth and growth. The music of this album is just as enjoyable as the last but in a different way... despite the influences.
  10. PeterP
    Oct 25, 2005
    8
    This album contains some of the catchiest and listenable tunes I've heard in a long time, even if the sentiments are hardly novel. What critcal detractors fail to note is that all music is derivative to a greater or lesser extent. The key is in how the band adapts their diverse influential input and arrives at a fresh sound. The blend here yields somewhat of a 80's feel a la This album contains some of the catchiest and listenable tunes I've heard in a long time, even if the sentiments are hardly novel. What critcal detractors fail to note is that all music is derivative to a greater or lesser extent. The key is in how the band adapts their diverse influential input and arrives at a fresh sound. The blend here yields somewhat of a 80's feel a la Cure, but I hear a number of influences, some already noted by others. Personally I hear Lords of the New Church (in terms of the backing vocal harmonies) and some of the fretwork is reminiscent of the melodic staccato electronics of Ray Lynch. The music is uplifting and an easy listen, reminding me of a favorite 80's obscurity A Drop in the Gray (Certain Sculptures). Expand
  11. NickB
    Sep 16, 2005
    10
    Absolutely Flawless!!!!! Stellastarr* deliver once again!!!!! Love and Longing is a stand-out track. Some reviewers need to unclench and relax, lay off the 80's refs and just enjoy this killer CD.
  12. eneas
    Sep 18, 2005
    9
    Incredible record. Don't trust in the reviews above. The record is almost perfect and, by far, one of the best records this year
  13. jasonr
    Sep 20, 2005
    5
    i'd have to say that i agree with most of the reviews. i like love and longing a good bit. if the rest of the album was as good it might get about an 8 from me. unfortunately nothing else is as close to that good and definitely not as good as anything from their first.
  14. AndyJ
    Sep 23, 2005
    7
    Most of the reasons people are giving for not liking this album are idiotic. Who cares about band names and influences when the music is successfully infectuous, well-executed and not melodically derivative? Maybe this album is not as rounded out or slap-in-the-face catchy as the debut, but it's still great and I'm willing to bet it will continue to grow on me. For me, the debut Most of the reasons people are giving for not liking this album are idiotic. Who cares about band names and influences when the music is successfully infectuous, well-executed and not melodically derivative? Maybe this album is not as rounded out or slap-in-the-face catchy as the debut, but it's still great and I'm willing to bet it will continue to grow on me. For me, the debut started as about an 8 and quickly aged into a 10. For now, this one is a 7, but it'll probably age into at least an 8. One thing about this band is that in order to appreciate the vocals, the volume has to be loud enough for them to overpower you when they crescendo. That could be why some people find the vocals silly and/or the music flat/boring. Expand
  15. MusicMaven
    Sep 26, 2005
    8
    It's a essentially a more polished version of their first album. A little less of the spiky Pixies influence and a little more of the moody Cure vibe to complement the glossier production. But underneath, they've still maintained the same songwriting touch. I'm not sure why the critical reaction has been so much more negative this time around. I suppose they haven't It's a essentially a more polished version of their first album. A little less of the spiky Pixies influence and a little more of the moody Cure vibe to complement the glossier production. But underneath, they've still maintained the same songwriting touch. I'm not sure why the critical reaction has been so much more negative this time around. I suppose they haven't grown much artistically, but that could be called consistency, too. I guess it's time for the retro-80s backlash. Expand
  16. JoaquinS
    Jan 19, 2006
    9
    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, 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. Expand
  17. Sebastian
    Mar 5, 2007
    5
    Stellastarr*'s first album was so catchy and very Pixies-like. This one does suffer the "sophomore slump".
  18. RussP
    Nov 13, 2005
    9
    "They're a clone band, and they don't try to hide that fact, which is commendable. So they sound like a clone of the Killers" - David Bernard, PopMatters Stellastarrs debut album was released in 2003. The Killers debut album was released in 2004. The PopMatters review shouldn't count against the album, because David Bernard obviously doesn't know what he's talking "They're a clone band, and they don't try to hide that fact, which is commendable. So they sound like a clone of the Killers" - David Bernard, PopMatters Stellastarrs debut album was released in 2003. The Killers debut album was released in 2004. The PopMatters review shouldn't count against the album, because David Bernard obviously doesn't know what he's talking about. This was an excellent album that sounds similar to 80s New Wave, but the lead singer's vocals make the band unique. Stellastarr* had quite a few weak spots on their previous album, and they've grown considerably since then. The Diver is an outstanding track on this album and shows just how much Stellastarr* has improved over the last two years. Expand
  19. JPEGJPEG
    Nov 25, 2005
    9
    Blah,Blah,Blah......critics are failed artists at best. Come on, you pompous windbags. It's damn good music.
  20. AndrewW
    Sep 13, 2005
    10
    I can't really understand why the reviews have been so bad. The opening five songs are as good as you will get all year, and even though the second half lags a bit, there are still good songs.
  21. robs
    Sep 16, 2005
    10
    What is up with reviewers!!! It seems like they won't even give a 80's influenced band the time of day if the band is not Interpol. I like Interpol just as much as the next guy, but stellastarr* deserve just as much recognition and shouldn't be hastliy grouped with the killers/bravery/hothot heat/whatever. This is a great album and anyone who truly loves music should check it out.
  22. Gnarles
    Nov 29, 2005
    8
    I usually agree with the critics, but I really liked this record after I allowed it grow on me a little. While not as good as their fantastic self-titled debut, it has improved production and nice harmonies. The Killers and Interpol have stolen much of Stellastarr's thunder, which is unfortunate. Listening to this cd, you can sense within them that masterpiece that surely exits. Time I usually agree with the critics, but I really liked this record after I allowed it grow on me a little. While not as good as their fantastic self-titled debut, it has improved production and nice harmonies. The Killers and Interpol have stolen much of Stellastarr's thunder, which is unfortunate. Listening to this cd, you can sense within them that masterpiece that surely exits. Time will tell if they can bring it to the surface, but Harmonies For The Haunted is still a great warm-up. Oh, and SPIN: it's nice to know you haven't loss any of your snarkiness. Or irrelevance. Expand
  23. ED
    Dec 26, 2005
    7
    One of the better pop/rock albums to come out of the State in 2005. This album isn't perfect, it's got it's slow moments and a few 'filler' tracks, but overall it's solid. 'Sweet Troubled Soul' is a fantastic gem of a song and it alone puts this album above the 5-6 range. For me at least.
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 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.
  2. A game of "name that influence" runs rampant from the album's start to its closing seconds.
  3. The band ultimately lose the pop craftsmanship and hook-filled bite that distinguished their debut. [Oct 2005, p.166]