Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. Jan 25, 2012
    Like the title suggests, Stars burns bright and fast.
  2. Jan 18, 2012
    Fizzing with memorable melodies, irrepressible energy and Matthew Caw's heartfelt vocals, this 38-minute set doesn't have a wasted moment on it. [Feb. 2012, p.108]
  3. Jan 18, 2012
    Nada Surf's blend of melancholy, anxiety and child-like optimism is fully intact on their first collection of original material in four years. [Feb 2012, p.84]
  4. Jan 17, 2012
    10 songs, no filler, that won't necessarily knock you out of your seat, but rather leave you wanting to lean back and stay a while.
  5. Jan 17, 2012
    The vocal hooks and catchy choruses that have brought Nada Surf this far have only gotten better.
  6. Jan 24, 2012
    The Stars is a reliably crisp, tuneful addition [to their consistent indie-rock discography], all racing snare hits, taut power chords, and Caws' emotive tenor.
  7. 75
    [It has] ringing guitar hooks and winsome nostalgia. [27 Jan 2012, p.71]
  8. Jan 25, 2012
    It's thankfully not an album of covers, and thus a wonderful return.
  9. Jan 30, 2012
    Nada Surf have not reached outside their comfort zone with The Stars are Indifferent to Astronomy.
  10. Feb 10, 2012
    Not exactly champion wordsmiths, then, but the ebulliently heart-warming rush of the tunes is reason enough to forgive any clunkers.
  11. 70
    The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy could be the comeback for a band who deserves to be recognized as something much more than a mid-'90s punchline.
  12. Jan 24, 2012
    A good rock record is a good rock record, and The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy is a good rock record.
  13. Jan 20, 2012
    The component parts of this record prove that indie rock may be 'dying' commercially but still sounds alive and kicking.
  14. Jan 19, 2012
    These ten mostly filler-free tracks prove, Nada Surf only look to be growing more confident in their old age.
  15. Jan 18, 2012
    It's hard to resist.
  16. Feb 22, 2012
    It is far too adult oriented rock and middle of the road to be anything but the sound of a band coasting, rather than making waves.
  17. Jan 31, 2012
    A few clunky lyrics take the shine off. [Feb 2012, p.95]
  18. Jan 26, 2012
    Strong melodies make the tunes better than middle-of-the-road, but aside from a bit more distortion, the New York trio show little desire to venture outside their breezy alt-pop comfort zone.
  19. Jan 23, 2012
    Overall, though, The Stars Are Indifferent is a quick listen, filled with nice hooks and effortless melody.
  20. Jan 19, 2012
    Sounds and feels like most Nada Surf albums do - shimmering, mid-tempo guitars clashing with knee-buckled notebook poetry. [#39, p.69]
  21. Jan 18, 2012
    The sound's core remains Matthew Caws' candyfloss voice, but Doug Gillard's guitar adds mettle. [Feb 2012, p.94]
  22. Astronomy sounds like a healthy stroll down 90s Alternative Alley, and is as comforting as it is overly familiar; giving it a listen won't change your perspective on music, but it might make you pine for the good old days.
  23. Jan 25, 2012
    The band sticks to their guns but in doing so produce a record that's so nonprovocative that the music doesn't truly assert itself.
  24. Jan 23, 2012
    The songs are fine but largely feckless, and what could be an animating contrast between glum lyrics and upbeat music is too often hobbled by clunkers both generic ("I am lost in my mind when you go to sleep") and specific (something about tarot cards).
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Jan 24, 2012
    Many of these critics appear to be burnt out on the fact that from beginning to end of EVERY album Nada Surf have created are nothing short of filler-less 100% quality. I personally don't begin to gradually degrade my opinion of a band album after album just because they stuck to the style of music they have perfected. At the same time, they aren't Nine Inch Nails (and no one ever will be. Trent always switching up the style and doing so with such brilliance) so yeah, there is a formula but plenty of variations to make this beautiful record highly enjoyable. Full Review »
  2. Dec 22, 2012
    This album makes me happy but it doesn't really stand out, nothing generally ground breaking. I am somewhat new to Nada Surf and I'm curious if they will stand up to years of listening. Full Review »
  3. Mar 13, 2012
    Finally a ROCK album that I can get behind. Nada Surf have produced a very solid set with no throw-away tracks. Some of the critics harshed on lyrics. I actually feel the lyrics on Stars are the best lyrics in their whole discography. The themes on the album are perfect for those of us that are at a certain age (eg. longtime alt-rock fans). Nada Surf are incredibly underrated - I can't put my finger on why. Full Review »