After rightfully breaking through to wider recognition on the strength of their excellent third album, Set Yourself on Fire, in 2005, elegant Canadian indie-pop quintet Stars seemed to slowly lose steam over the course of two uneven follow-up efforts. Last year's The North thankfully reversed the trend, with nary a dud among its dozen tracks. The boy/girl lead vocal combo of Torquil Campbell and Amy Milan continues to play the roles of fire (Campbell) and ice (Milan) well, while multi-instrumentalists and songwriting anchors Chris Seligman and Patrick Cranley provide a solidly varied sonic landscape for their voices. Highlights include the New Wave-nodding dancefloor number "The Theory of Relativity" and the heartbreaking orchestral ballad title track. While the band's last stop at First Avenue was a somewhat lackluster and poorly attended affair plagued by sound problems, the band seems to be riding high at present. With Milo Greene, Said the Whale.
Tue., March 26, 7 p.m., 2013
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