STELLAR*: The Best Of
By Shaun Chait
To understand the influence of Stellar* on their local scene, one only has to consider the reach of their members – of the three other CDs I’ve reviewed this issue, one featured Boh Runga on backing vocals, and another gave Chris van de Geer production credits. Add to this the stats – three top 10 albums, over 100,000 units sold, seven big singles – and there is no doubt they’ve been successful. To me they’ve always sounded like the local version of Garbage, their shiny plastic and oh so polished sound mostly suffocating the soul of their songs. Their version of pop songs on an electronic base, marinated in beats with chunky lashings of guitar is a menu description not suited to my palate. But radio embraced them and of the 18 tracks on this best of, many listeners would recognise a good half of them. No point rattling off song titles – we all know them. So Alive is a new one, and the darker Slowburn with its climatic finishing chorus is my fave Stellar* track. The album artwork includes career photos, touring momentos and song notes.