Subsequent albums diluted the band's sonic approach somewhat, leaning increasingly on the strength of its two vocalists — Torquil Campbell's unironically melodramatic croon, Amy Millan's warm, soothing husk — to guide their increasingly florid compositions. If this curbing of their earlier erratic streak has meant that the band have yet to produce a second all-out masterpiece on the level of their most beloved record, Stars have made up for this by maintaining a particularly comforting reliability.
It is on that level that new album No One is Lost is the most consistently satisfying Stars record since 2007's largely underestimated In Our Bedroom After the War. Only once does the band attempt to verge outside of their now firmly established boundaries, adding a low-key approximation of Guetta-esque rave synths to the title track (the effects are predictably ghastly). Fortunately, for the other ten songs here, the band understands the value of formula, adding nothing more outrageous than a New Order-y guitar bounce to the typically buoyant "Are You OK" or a hint of twang to the elegant "Look Away."
Otherwise, the band sticks firmly to their policy of alternating tuneful slices of power-pop like "Movie Score" with ornate ballads like "Turn it Up" and "No Better Place," all swathed in their usual New Wave glow and adorned with their recurring lyrical concerns of romance and nostalgia. Seven albums in, Stars may not have very much left in the way of surprises, but the subtle pleasures of these songs offer considerable rewards to those of us who have stuck with them. (ATO)