• Record Label: RCA
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2003
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. Alternative Press
    100
    The band update a tired synth-pop sound with purring guitars and just enough punked-out drum and vocal flourishes to give texture to what might otherwise have become new-wave wallpaper. [Nov 2003, p.114]
  2. Up there with the best debut albums of this, or any decade.
  3. 'Stellastarr*' is a rare beast; one that takes from its peers and gives back something fresh, imaginative and breathlessly great.
  4. Filter
    85
    One of the most successful sonic experiments this side of "Let there be light." [#6, p.82]
  5. I know the whole ‘retro-rock’ thing is en vogue in about a bazillion different ways, but Stellastarr*’s take just seems a bit more energetic and vibrant than most. Considering the genre, this disc is a frighteningly solid listen.
  6. Uncut
    80
    Deviant, brainy re:teen angst, slightly arrogant, and they kick ass despite themselves. What's not to love? [Dec 2003, p.116]
  7. Stellastarr stand out from 2003's even-newer-new-wave-of-new-wave pack in that they manage to borrow from the suddenly-cool-again decade of Pacman and parachute pants without sounding like they've spent the last six months sequestered in a loft watching VH1's I Love The '80s documentary series in a constant loop.
  8. Outburn
    80
    Stellar. [#23, p.92]
  9. Q Magazine
    80
    This assured, intense record heralds the emergence of a major force. [Nov 2003, p.123]
  10. Polished, fully-formed debut CDs are rare enough as it is; that stellastarr* have crafted such an album while pretty much moonlighting as a rock band could lead one to believe the band could dethrone the Strokes as the Kings of New York if they so desired.
  11. Too bad John Hughes isn't making the kind of movies he used to, because stellastarr*'s self-titled debut is a prom soundtrack worthy of Ducky.
  12. Magnet
    80
    There hasn't been a set of pretenders this convincing since Interpol. [#61, p.107]
  13. Stellastarr's bold, cinematic sprawl demands a certain kind of tolerance, and might require a few listens before you're able to fully adjust to its dramatics, but Christensen is, in the end, an oddly convincing leader, and, if nothing else, you'll at least be stuck to your headphones trying to guess his next move.
  14. Under The Radar
    70
    A pure pleasure to listen to. [#5, p.103]
  15. 70
    This is a good album, though disconcertingly reminiscent of something you could have heard on Modern Rock radio 12 years ago.
  16. Although they can generate a gothic tombstone rumble as convincingly as fellow New Yorkers Interpol, they prefer to keep moving, throwing in fresh hooks at every turn and making no secret of their influences.
  17. Mojo
    70
    It's messy, seductive stuff. [Dec 2003, p.113]
  18. Demonstrates a truly elegant sense of pacing and development.
  19. Where Stellastarr's debut hits the jackpot is in their gutsy decision to wipe the slate clean by declaring the years 1981 to 1996 a single era, synthesizing the sounds of that fifteen year stretch by playing every band on the soundtrack to a mid-eighties John Hughes gem with the knowledge of the nineties college rock boom.
User Score
8.3

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 1 out of 10
  1. ExecutionerJones
    Dec 24, 2005
    10
    One of my very favorite albums.It's crazy funny pretty and it rocks! It's what you'd get if you mixed the Talking Heads and One of my very favorite albums.It's crazy funny pretty and it rocks! It's what you'd get if you mixed the Talking Heads and the Pixies. Also Shawn Christensen's voice is powerful and unique. Full Review »
  2. DavisW
    May 9, 2005
    8
    A genuinely fun album. I love it.
  3. jeffm
    Dec 9, 2004
    9
    sure they sound like a lot of other band (mostly the cure and the pixies, i think), but the song are just so well written.....i can't sure they sound like a lot of other band (mostly the cure and the pixies, i think), but the song are just so well written.....i can't help adoring this album. 'my coco' is one of my favourite tunes, building as it does to such an amazing crescendo. the sequencing on this album is great as well. 'untitled', while perhaps one of the least original tracks, plays like one of the best, placed where it is. Full Review »