Harmonies For The Haunted Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 35 Ratings

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  • Summary: This is the second album for the 80s New Wave-influenced outfit fronted by Shawn Christensen.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. 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.
  2. Stellastarr* pushes its new grasp of tension and release, and the album shows their increased sense of cohesion.
  3. Stellastarr sound playful but passionate, flashing their Eighties go-feet beats ("Damn This Foolish Heart") alongside moody, Cure-style ballads.
  4. A game of "name that influence" runs rampant from the album's start to its closing seconds.
  5. Has the unmistakable sound of a sophomore slump. [#10, p.107]
  6. The band ultimately lose the pop craftsmanship and hook-filled bite that distinguished their debut. [Oct 2005, p.166]
  7. 25
    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]

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 1 out of 23
  1. AndrewW
    Sep 13, 2005
    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. Expand
  2. robs
    Sep 16, 2005
    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. Expand
  3. ryann
    Mar 2, 2006
    this is the BEST band ever and i recomend it to all ppls k lol
  4. eneas
    Sep 18, 2005
    Incredible record. Don't trust in the reviews above. The record is almost perfect and, by far, one of the best records this year
  5. PeterP
    Oct 25, 2005
    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
  6. MusicMaven
    Sep 26, 2005
    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
  7. ZachM
    Nov 27, 2005
    whats wrong with you all? this is definitely the worst Bowie rip-off i've ever heard.

See all 23 User Reviews

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