For Stars We Are All Beautiful People

Until now, geography has placed For Stars alongside other more downbeat San Francisco bands like Red House Painters and American Music Club, but with the release of their third album, We Are All Beautiful People, that's going to have to change because it has some positively joyous moments amongst the 11 tracks. Of course, joyous is a relative term, and if you expect something that's going to make you feel happy from head to toe, you'd better look elsewhere. If, on the other hand, you just want a nice warm glow inside, tunes like "Wires" and "How It Goes" will definitely do the job. Yet there are quieter, more contemplative moments (in particular, "The Astronaut Song") that are more in line with their days gone by. Musically, there isn't the same sparseness any more - songs build layer upon layer (including Moogs, xylophones and, of course, guitars) and even singer Carlos Forster's voice (which some people could think is a little whiny) mixes in to make one joyous noise. There's that word again - joyous. At times, We Are All Beautiful People conjures up memories of the Chills, one of those criminally ignored bands that constantly slipped under most people's radar. If there's any justice in the world, though, the same won't be true of For Stars, because it's hard to imagine hearing a better indie rock album in the latter-half of 2001. (Future Farmer)