Monday, October 18, 2010

Hooked On Cellophane

Ah, Stars.  I rave way too much about this band. But for a good reason: they're amazing.  The fact that they're not more famous disturbs me greatly.  I could literally go on for hours and hours about this band, and I guarantee that this will not be my only post about them.  But for now, I just wanted to post the one song of theirs I've been digging on.

Originally released on their debut album "Nightsongs," the song "Going, Going, Gone" was re-released on the EP "Sad Robots."  On the original version, friend of the band, Broken Social Scene member, and Metric frontwoman Emily Haines contributes vocals. Her version is very different from the one on the Sad Robots EP.  On "Nightsongs," Stars' lead singers Torquil Campbell and Amy Millan didn't use their songs as stories and play off of each other, as evidenced in later songs such as "Elevator Love Letter," "Your Ex-Lover Is Dead," "One More Night," and "Personal."  Therefore, to finally hear Amy put her vocals on this track and sing it with Torquil only enhances the track.

In my interpretive opinion, this song is about many things. As with many Stars songs, Amy appears to be playing the role of an oblivious female, while Torquil is an angry male counterpart.  Amy's character has problems with a shopping addiction (Still hooked on cellophane/hanging round the mall and all/each penny numbs the pain/sends you gently for the fall), and a boyfriend whom she suspects of cheating (I followed you last night/I watched you turn your lights out).  Torquil's verse on this version is particularly biting, as he almost sneers the lyric, "Look good in that red dress/I bet the boyfriend's happy," then later bringing up, "Still hooked on cellophane/killing time with gin and lime."

As with many Stars songs, a story of lost/unrequited love is told, and unresolved, letting you decide what's happened. I like to think that you're encouraged to make up your own ending because you probably have your own similar story, so you already know the ending.  And as I finish this essay, I scroll through my music library, realizing that I can write pages and pages about any particular song by this band.  And I find that that fact is what makes a band truly great.