[24 January 2007]
Don’t let the cover or the photo on the back fool you, these guys wouldn’t know emo rock if they tripped over it. Instead, Toronto’s Turn Off the Stars shine with an extremely refined, polished and pristine collection of tunes that will strike a nerve with any Coldplay, U2 or Keane fan. “I Wasn’t Ready” has a great mix of music and lyrics, with lead singer Michael Walker hitting those high notes time and time again, while the other band members wield terribly sweet music behind him. At the same time, Turn Off the Stars excels with moodier pieces, such as “Please”, “Getaway”, and the larger, lush “Falling Into You”, that instantly makes one think of Chris Martin and Company. So does the earnest, mid-tempo and melancholic, “Hours & Days”, which is a bit lighter on the guitars. The fifth song, often a dropping off point for most albums, is just as consistent as the band maintains this high quality groove during “30 Days”. Nothing here is filler or padding, particularly going by a tender, terribly melodic effort like “Nowhere Skies”, that again would give one a rush of blood to the head. While the comparisons to Coldplay might be endless, these songs are from a band which sounds like it’s never gone through the motions. “Lately” is one of the second half highlights on an album with many such highlights.