Stars are one of those bands that baffle me. How is it that each one of their albums is consistently better than the last? Every band has "that album" which completes your collection, but never gets listened to because it was less than perfect. Such isn't the case (yet) with Stars. In Our Bedroom After The War makes Set Yourself On Fire and Heart pale, and runs rampant with the band's already patented chamber pop.
Starting off with "The Beginning After The End," electronic beats, which sound more like a symphony than bleeps and bloops, sets the stage for this epic journey, one that will last thirteen tracks, or better yet, chapters. The first real song, "The Night Starts Here," boasts hints of New Order, and is nothing short of bold and gorgeous. This is harmony, and music, at its best. It's hard to leave this one and move on with the rest of the album, but it has to be done, as this is not a review of merely one track. The pounding "Take Me To The Riot" focuses on something Stars do oh so well, passionate and emotional vocals.
"My Favourite Book" follows, a soulful and sophisticated tune, which has traces of older Morcheeba. Showing that they are so much more than a one-trick pony, Stars change it up a bit on the Hall & Oats-ish "The Ghost Of Genova Heights." Also, the breathy duo vocals in "Personal" are subdued and tell the story of a personal ad gone wrong, but keep up their stylish persona. Ending with the bombastic guitars on the title track, "In Our Bedroom After The War," we are left satisfied and hurry to put on the DVD portion of the release.
One of the best parts about In Our Bedroom After The War is that the band tells a story in every single song. Much like The Decemberists, or The Divine Comedy's last release, you feel a beginning, middle, and end, smart songs, written by smart people, for smart listeners. All that is left to say is that you should lie down, look up, and pay attention to Stars as they twinkle up above.
"The Night Starts Here"