“When you grow up, your heart dies,” says Allison, the basket case in John Hughes’ 1985 film The Breakfast Club. But she — like many people I know, perhaps most of all the Canadian pop band Stars — desperately don’t want this to happen. Stars’ last three albums — Heart, Set Yourself on Fire and In Our Bedroom After the War — are paeans to pre-adult pop purity; beautiful, dazzling music made by adults but infused with the burning zeal of contemporary adolescence.
The band’s knack for delicious melodrama remains on The Five Ghosts, and first five tracks, from “Dead Hearts” to “We Don’t Want Your Body,” live up to the gorgeously theatrical heights of their previous records. The mood shifts, however, halfway through the album, to a slowed-down autopsy of youthful passion rather than a celebration of it. Torquil Campbell and Amy Milan’s vocals fade into a gauzy, electronic — ghostly, even — haze of grown-uphood.
DOWNLOAD: “I Died So I Could Haunt You”