It’s been almost a decade since Stellastarr* released their self-titled album. How has time treated it? Let’s take a quick look back with a Retro-Review.
The golden era of “Indie” was 2002-2003, in my mind. Before bands like Interpol and The Killers crossed over to find some version of mainstream success, there were a few of bands who had the combination of content and charisma that could have lead them down a similar career path … but didn’t.
The unique vocals of Shawn Christensen made Stellastarr* stand out from many of their contemporaries. This wasn’t Death Cab or The Shins, he had a power in his voice that cut through the blazing guitars found on most of their songs. This may be best experience on the deep track, “Moongirl” which is an epic track that would have been at home on an album from a decade prior.
Like most albums, there are elements of period.
In a time when dance-punk was peaking, New York-based Stellarstarr* was making dance-rock. In “Somewhere Across Forever” the band featured the supporting vocals of bassist Amanda Tannen, providing the band with a Velocity Girl-esque quality.
Personally, it is one of my favorite albums of that period. The band’s most popular track off the album was “My Coco” but “Jenny” and “Homeland” also got its fair share of play.
Now almost twelve years after starting their career, Stellastarr* is still together with the original line-up of Christensen, Tannen, Michael Jurin and Arthur Kremer and has released two additional albums.
As I am finishing this up, I’m listening to my favorite track from the album, the ballad “Untitled.” It’s an excellent way to end the evening.
Nine years later, if you are looking for a sterling example of everything right about music from 2003, then you should try to find a copy of the now out-of-print Stellastarr* self-titled album.
“In the Walls” – 3:49
“Jenny” – 4:16
“A Million Reasons” – 4:19
“My Coco” – 5:05
“No Weather” – 3:15
“Moongirl” – 5:30
“Somewhere Across Forever” – 3:40
“Homeland” – 3:55
“Untitled” – 5:07
“Pulp Song” – 3:39
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