The North - ATO
FILTER Grade: 80%
By Jon Falcone on September 7, 2012
Stars have always been a band enthralled with the ’80s and early ’90s. As a result, North sits comfortably in the throwback indie canon of today, maybe more so than these Canadians’ past efforts. As to be expected, the songwriting makes North a worthy album; Torquil Campbell’s lyrics on the title track lay out a universal dilemma with plain words: “Good luck, bad luck, survival / Sleep is my friend, and my rival,” as loneliness is recalled through strummed verses. Stars are a band of bombast and directness; Amy Millan’s counterpart chorus melodies are always a burst of grace, superbly poised, as she asks, “What do I do?” to a fanfare in the epically titled “Hold On When You Get Love and Let Go When You Give It?” Stars have once more played out thoughts and ponderings to a classical framework, fleshed out with an engaging vernacular and choruses that explode.