Apparently love is not the only thing that will break your heart; logic will as well. So many people have torn this album apart that it hurts … me that is. I had nothing to do with the making of the album and yet, I was saddened by some of the poor reviews received (there have been just as many positive reviews as negative reviews, if not more). After merely one listen to the record it commanded a degree of loyalty from me. Let me warn you though: Listen not to those who render this album as a failure.
Sometimes, it’s nice to listen to something recalling great music of the past while drowning you, not drowning but considerably immersing you, in melodies drenched with tempting melodrama. Individually, the songs are well crafted, of course some more so than others. Collectively, the flow of the album is also done well. Even after one of the best songs of the album is played, the following song does not fulfill the role of a let down or filler. My three favorite songs on the album are “Lola Stars and Stripes”, “Animals and Insects”, and “Let’s Roll.” It has been suggested that The Stills are merely an amalgamation of Radiohead, Echo and the Bunnymen, Coldplay (mostly in reference to vocals), Joy Division, and Interpol among other bands. They also sound like a ten times better version of Travis. Whatever their influences, the combination is more unique than some may have you believe. The post-punk genre label that may be pasted onto the album cover should persuade you into thinking that The Stills are like The Strokes (not that it would be entirely bad). They are quite different, mellower.
There is one upsetting about the album; that is that there is no lyric sheet provided in the cover insert. I was even unable to find lyrics online, not even on the band’s website. While I would not mind having to listen to the album multiple times in order to figure out the lyrics for myself (since I think it is sooo good), it would be a pain in the ass. Also, I can foresee myself getting so caught up by the all too excellent vocal composition and execution that I would forget to listen to actual lyrics. Tim Fletcher is able to exert a great amount of control and flexibility, which allows him to efficiently harness the melancholy and sullen tones pervading through the album. If for nothing else, listen to a few songs of this album for the vocals.
So while logic may break your heart, The Stills will ease the pain.