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Stellastarr* - Harmonies for the Haunted Review
by Eric Bodrero

Stellastarr* is, in fact, a clone of all the other bands you've probably heard on the radio lately, more specifically the Killers and Interpol. However, this doesn't mean you should just ignore them. Okay, maybe you shouldn't take them very seriously, but there is some decent music being generated by these NY 80's pop rockers.

Most people will tell you (and most people have said something about Sellastarr*, usually about what big copycats and fakes they are) that we've all heard Sellastarr* before, back in the 1980's. Maybe true, but there is still a somewhat nostalgic sense about them and their imitation rock, which is probably what I like about them. Most people have also commented on lead vocalist Shawn Christensen's supposedly annoying voice, but it's no more annoying that any other band's lead vocalist, such as Interpol, Hot Hot Heat and many others. I'm not making a comparison of vocal elements between these band's lead singers, just trying to make a point.

Most notable tracks include "Lost in Time", "Sweet Troubled Soul" and "Love and Longing", in which they dare break out of their hypnotic nostalgic rant and throw something in the pot they can call their own. However, for every tune they get right, they get one or two wrong by way of over-imitation, which is mostly what this record suffers from.

I'll admit, I'm an 80's junky, having grown up in the era. Some throwback bands get it right, and some don't. Stellastarr* doesn't annoy me like others do. That's just me; others will disagree. I admire a band that has the balls to come blazing out the door and call themselves retro rock, and the fact that it's retro 80's rock is all the better for me. Love them or hate them, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. And in my humble opinion, Stellastarr*'s worst material is better than most of what's on most radio stations today. Give them a listen and make your own conclusions. For fans of most 80's bands like the Cure and New Order, Interpol, the Killers, etc.

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