Star of Love

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Star of Love
Studio album by Crystal Fighters
Released 4 October 2010 (2010-10-04)[1]
Genre Folktronica, alternative dance
Length 42:35
Label Zirkulo
Producer Graham Dickson, Sebastian Pringle, Gilbert Vierich
Crystal Fighters chronology
Star of Love
(2010)
Cave Rave
(2013)
Singles from Star of Love
  1. "Xtatic Truth"
    Released: 15 May 2009
  2. "I Love London"
    Released: 1 December 2009
  3. "In the Summer"
    Released: 5 July 2010
  4. "Follow / Swallow"
    Released: 27 September 2010
  5. "At Home"
    Released: 7 March 2011
  6. "Plage"
    Released: 8 August 2011

Star of Love is the debut studio album by English-Spanish electronic music band Crystal Fighters. It was originally released on 4 October 2010 on their label, Zirkulo.[2] The album combines genres from Basque folk to straight electronic and dubstep.[3][4] Two special releases followed in 2011: an Australian limited edition, which included a bonus disc of acoustic remixes, and a worldwide deluxe edition, which included the acoustic tracks and an additional track.

The album charted in the United Kingdom and Belgium. Its singles have received attention from musicians and producers, who have remixed the tracks;[5] some were selected by the band for its compilation album, Star of Love Remixes, which was released on 23 September 2012.[6]

Development[edit]

The album drew inspiration from singer Laure Stockley's grandfather's writings; its press release mentions "the unfathomable mystery of the universe, the turbulent journey towards being at peace with death, the triumph of love, and the omnipotence of the sun".[7][8][9][10] The band used synthesizers and guitars, along with traditional Basque instruments: txalaparta, danbolin and txistu.[11] Sebastian Pringle said that the album songs have been ready for a while, but that they made sure the songs "somehow linked in with one another even though there's a slew of mad genres going on." Pringle also mentions three of the members wrote most of the album at a warehouse at home.[12] The name of the album is a backronym of SOL, the Spanish word for "sun".[13][9]

Artwork[edit]

The album artwork was done by London-based painter John Stark, who did the cover for Commix's Call to Mind album in 2007. It was an oil painting done on wood panel, and is "slightly larger" than the 12-inch cover. Stark focused on the band's Basque theme, and also added "gothic overtones and technique" characteristic of his work. The painting took six weeks to complete. The lettering was done by a different artist.[14]

Release[edit]

Star of Love was released on 4 October 2010.[4]

On 4 February 2011, Crystal Fighters released a "Limited Edition" version of the album in Australia. It featured a bonus CD that consisted of five acoustic tracks.[15]

On 8 August, Crystal Fighters released the "Deluxe Edition" worldwide. The album included the tracks from the Australian limited edition, and a cover track of "Fiesta de los Maniquíes", a Spanish song by 1980s synthpop group Golpes Bajos.[16]

On 23 September 2012, Crystal Fighters released their Star of Love Remixes album, which contains 15 remixes of 7 tracks on their original album. They asked their favourite producers and artists to contribute.[6]

Critical reception[edit]

Original Edition
Review scores
Source Rating
BBC Music Favourable[2]
The Brag 1.5/5 stars[17]
Drowned in Sound (7/10)[18]
The Fly 3.5/5 stars[19]
Metro 4/5 stars[20]
MusicOMH 3/5 stars[21]
NME Unfavourable[22]
The Skinny 2/5 stars[23]
Virgin Media (10/10)[24]

The album scored a 6/10 on Any Decent Music's reviews aggregator, with 12 independent reviewers.[25] Caitlin Welsh of The Brag called the album "exhaustingly dull" and "trying too hard to fit into every possible current genre".[17] Alex Hoban of NME was equally critical: "With Delorean doing the same thing right now so much better, favouring Crystal Fighters would be like being handed an LCD Soundsystem record and chucking it to listen to Hadouken!."[22]

The album received a few positive reviews. Josh Holliday of Virgin Media gave the album a 10/10, and called it "an eclectic barrage of contrasting, and often cacophonously clashing genre combinations...it's this constant flittering and fidgeting between reality and surrealism, fact and fiction, British and Basque that propels Crystal Fighters into mythical realms".[24] Stephen Jones of the British newspaper Metro also praised the album: "On paper, Crystal Fighters' self-produced 'fast dance music', melding Basque folk instruments and thumping electro punk pop with lyrics from singer Laure's grandfather's addled writings, sounds like a disaster. In reality it works."[20] James Hull of The AU Review was "thrilled" with the limited edition album and "its smile inducing sounds."[26]

On 8 August 2011, BBC 6 Music listed Star of Love as an Album of the Day.[27]

Deluxe Edition[edit]

Deluxe Edition
Review scores
Source Rating
Glasswerk Favourable[28]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[29]
Halesowen News (7/10)[30]
The Line of Best Fit Favourable[31]
Metro 4/5 stars[32]
The Music Fix (5/10)[33]
Virgin Media Favourable[34]
Yorkshire Post Favourable[35]

Following the Deluxe Edition's release, the Metro UK newspaper commented that "The five additional acoustic tracks emphasise [the band's] Latin roots, and the dreamy sentiments within the shouty fun, particularly on 'Champion Sound'."[32] However, Jen Long, of BBC Radio 1, wrote in the on-line music magazine The Line of Best Fit: "Well, as pretty as they are, it's just a bit pointless really. The original album is fine fun on its own."[31]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Graham Dickson, Sebastian Pringle and Gilbert Vierich. 

No. Title Additional production Length
1. "Solar System"     3:58
2. "Xtatic Truth"     3:38
3. "I Do This Everyday"   Charlie Hugall 3:45
4. "Champion Sound" (Alt. version) Crystal Fighters, Luke Smith 3:25
5. "Plage"   Hugall, Crystal Fighters 3:50
6. "In the Summer"   Hugall 3:56
7. "At Home"   Hugall 5:06
8. "I Love London"     2:47
9. "Swallow"   Hugall 4:31
10. "With You"   Hugall 4:23
11. "Follow"   Hugall 3:16
Total length:
42:35

Personnel[edit]

In addition to Graham Dickson, Sebastian Pringle, and Gilbert Vierich, the following musicians and crew members were listed in the album's credits for the original release.[36]

  • Mimi Borelli – vocals on all tracks except 1, 2, 4, 5 & 11
  • Laure Stockley – vocals on all tracks except 1, 3, 4, 5 & 8
  • Chris Hugall – drums on all track except 2, 4 & 8
  • G. De Castro & A. Mcdowell – vocals on all tracks except 1, 4 & 7
  • M Lozano & L. Youngman – vocals on track 6
  • Charlie Hugall – additional recording on all tracks except 1, 2, 4 & 8; mixing on all tracks except 1, 2, 3, 4 & 8
  • Adam Looker – additional recording on tracks 5 & 6; mixing on track 6
Crystal Fighters in Salzburg, 2011
  • Crystal Fighters – mixing on all tracks (tracks 2 and 8 mixed at the Crystal Ballroom)
  • Alan O'Connell (Alalal) – mixing on tracks 1, 3 & 6
  • Luke Smith – mixing on track 4
  • Stuart Hawkes (of Metropolis Mastering) – mastering on all tracks
  • John Stark – cover painting
  • Tim Green – design & art direction

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010–12) Peak
position
Australian Hitseekers Albums Chart[37] 16
Belgian Alternative Albums Chart (Flanders)[38] 47
Belgian Heatseekers Albums Chart (Flanders)[38] 6
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[39] 89
Dutch Albums Chart[40] 36
French Albums Chart[41] 200
UK Dance Albums Chart[42] 10
UK Independent Albums Breakers Chart[43] 16

References[edit]

  1. ^ O'Brien, Jon. Star of Love at AllMusic. Retrieved 20 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b McMahon, James (5 October 2010). "Crystal Fighters – Star of Love". bbc.co.uk reviews. Retrieved 2011-03-17. 
  3. ^ Richardson, Tomas (8 November 2010). "Review: Crystal Fighters – Star of Love". circle.square.triangle. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  4. ^ a b Kelly, Sam. "Crystal Fighters – Star of Love (Zirkulo) | Bearded Magazine: The Home of Independent Music". Bearded Magazine. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  5. ^ "Crystal Fighters – Xtatic Truth (Totally Extinct Enormous Dinosaurs remix". NME.com. 9 December 2009. Retrieved 2011-08-25. 
  6. ^ a b Batte, Elliott (21 September 2012). "Crystal Fighters Announce 'Star of Love' Remix Album Details". stereoboard.com. 
  7. ^ "Rough Trade East In-store – CRYSTAL FIGHTERS". Rough Trade. 4 October 2010. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  8. ^ "CRYSTAL FIGHTERS AIM FOR STAR OF LOVE ON DEBUT LP". FACT Magazine. The Vinyl Factory. 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2011-05-25. 
  9. ^ a b "Supported Projects – Crystal Fighters". PRS for Music Foundation. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  10. ^ James McMahon, in his review of the album on BBC said, of the story, "It's almost certainly a lie – but it beats "band formed in garage" hands down".
  11. ^ "Crystal Fighters Take Over: Our Equipment | indie". ILikeMusic. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  12. ^ Holliday, Josh (4 October 2010). "Crystal Fighters interview". Virgin Red Room. virgin.com. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  13. ^ Lester, Paul (28 March 2011). "Crystal Fighters: Bringing Basque the beats | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  14. ^ Lucas, Gavin (27 October 2010). "New record sleeves from Brian Eno, COS/MES, Nick Jaguar, and more". Creative Review. Centaur Media. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  15. ^ "ALBUM BIO: Crystal Fighters – Star of Love (out 4th February, 2011)". Liberator – Mushroom Group Promotions. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  16. ^ "Crystal Fighters release 'Star of Love' Deluxe Edition on Aug 8th News Article". MusicMuso.com. Retrieved 2011-07-20. 
  17. ^ a b Welsh, Caitlin (7 February 2011). "The Brag review". The Brag. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  18. ^ Perry, Tom (28 September 2010). "Crystal Fighters  — Star of Love / Releases // Drowned in Sound". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  19. ^ Jones, Molly (10 September 2010). "The Fly review". The Fly. MAMA Group. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  20. ^ a b Jones, Stephen (17 September 2010). "Crystal Fighters  — Star of Love / Reviews // Metro". Metro. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  21. ^ Raymond, Max (13 September 2010). "Crystal Fighters  — Star of Love // MusicOmh". MusicOMH. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  22. ^ a b Hoban, Alex (24 September 2010). "Crystal Fighters  — Star of Love / Reviews // NME". nme.com. Retrieved 17 March 2011. 
  23. ^ Kealy, Oisín (30 August 2010). "The Skinny review". The Skinny. Radge Media Ltd. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  24. ^ a b Holliday, Josh (20 August 2010). "Virgin review". Virgin Media. Virgin Group. Retrieved 25 May 2011. 
  25. ^ "Crystal Fighters – Star of Love". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved 2012-09-22. 
  26. ^ "Crystal Fighters – Star of Love (Acoustic Version) (2011 LP)". the AU review. 25 January 2011. Retrieved 2011-08-24. 
  27. ^ "Music – 6 Music Album of the Day". BBC. Retrieved 2011-08-22. 
  28. ^ Byford, Glen (19 August 2011). "Glasswerk \\ UK \\ Reviews \\ Crystal Fighters – Star of Love". Glasswerk Magazine. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  29. ^ Tom Hughes (11 August 2011). "Crystal Fighters: Star of Love – review | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  30. ^ Gaudry, Adam (13 August 2011). "On the record (From Halesowen News)". Halesowennews.co.uk. Retrieved 23 August 2011. 
  31. ^ a b Jen Long. "Crystal Fighters – Star of Love (Deluxe Edition)". The Line of Best Fit. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  32. ^ a b "Crystal Fighters, Star of Love: Album review". Metro.co.uk. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  33. ^ "Crystal Fighters: Star Of Love (Deluxe Edition) Album Review". The Music Fix. 1 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  34. ^ "Crystal Fighters go deluxe with Star of Love – Reviews – Music". Virgin.com. 12 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  35. ^ "Album Reviews – Music". Yorkshire Post. 5 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  36. ^ Source: Original UK album sleeve
  37. ^ "ARIA Hitseekers – Week Commencing 31st January 2011". ARIA Charts. Pandora Archive. p. 21. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  38. ^ a b "Crystal Fighters – Star Of Love" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  39. ^ "Crystal Fighters – Star Of Love" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  40. ^ "Crystal Fighters – Star Of Love" (in Dutch). dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  41. ^ "Crystal Fighters – Star Of Love" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 19 August 2014. 
  42. ^ "2010 Top 40 Dance Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 16 October 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 
  43. ^ "2010 Top 40 Independent Albums Breakers Archive". Official Charts Company. 6 November 2010. Retrieved 20 July 2011. 

External links[edit]