For those of us keeping track, this album has been a long time coming with the release date being put back several times (as it stands, a definite UK release date is still unknown) but the wait has been worthwhile.
New Yorkers Stellastarr* always had the potential to be more than 'that band who had one good song once' and in the form of Harmonies For The Haunted they have proven it. From opener 'Lost In Time' the band's sound for this album is clearly defined. It's a slightly haunting, melancholic melody which carries Shawn Christensen and Amanda Tannen's vocals through a track which The Cure would have been proud of in their prime. It's Robert Smith's motley crew that draw the most comparisons throughout the 10 tracks - however it's not all doom and gloom.
Tracks such as 'Damn This Foolish Heart' and 'Born In A Flea Market' raise the spirits while still not being as unabashedly pop friendly as 'My Coco' but this is no bad thing. The sound and direction the band have taken with this album is the right one to truly showcase what they have the potential to do.
Stand out tracks include forthcoming single 'Sweet Troubled Soul' which has a hook so big it could snare Jaws and the Pulp-esque album closer 'Island Lost At Sea' which broods nicely throughout... pretty much like the album really.
For new and old fans alike, this album really is a winner and a step ahead of most bands coming out of NYC (and the United States in general) at the moment. From beginning to end it is near faultless... but for one thing. It is missing _IT_ - that something that makes a good album into a great, standout album. It's missing that something that makes you want to keep listening to an album a year after its release. For all this though, right here and now it is superb, and it's now that matters.
7Colin Weston's Score