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Do You Trust Your Friends?

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Album Review

The concept behind the Stars album Do You Trust Your Friends? is a simple one: how trustworthy are your friends? If you gave them the chance to repaint your apartment, would they choose a standard shade of grey or a nauseating neon green? Stars turned over their album Set Yourself on Fire to their rock star buddies and studio-dwelling, knob-twiddler pals to see how they would remix their tracks. In this case, the risk pays off. Songs that were straightforward indie pop jingles are meticulously reworked into more atypical, wonderfully exciting compositions. Metric, Apostle of Hustle, and Junior Boys blow the original versions away with newfangled spins on the original takes. "One More Night" is re-created into a computerized flamenco number with splatters of Pinback and Wilco. "Sleep Tonight" is transformed into a keyboard heavy video game anthem reminiscent of the Knife's fabulous "Heartbeats." Of course, when you have 13 remixers working separately on a project that involved six musicians, the wide variety of personalities result in a drastic range of styles. This makes for a scattered listen that feels more like a mixtape than an actual album, but it's a fun one nonetheless. The liner notes include comments from all of the artists involved in the project to give insight on what inspired their manipulations — whether it be hopes of making the Stars sound gangsta, like Queen, or like they were riding in a spaghetti western.


Formed: 2001 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Sharing a fondness for sophisticated soul and pop artists like the Smiths, New Order, and Marvin Gaye, vocalist Torquil Campbell and keyboardist Chris Seligman formed Stars in Toronto. Along with friends Evan Cranley (also of Big Rude Jake) and Amy Millan (who contributed to the soundtrack for the film Drowning Mona), the band relocated to New York City before returning to Canada, this time settling in Montreal. Their debut full-length, Nightsongs, was released in early 2001 on Le Grand Magistery,...
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Do You Trust Your Friends?, Stars
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