For Stars

It Falls Apart

On For Stars' last CD, 2001's We Are All Beautiful People, the local outfit sounded like Radiohead's country cousin, its homespun Americana gussied up with sprawling guitars and twitchy electronics. For its fourth LP, It Falls Apart, the group still sounds related to Radiohead -- if that band had a nervous breakdown. This disc is a glorious mess, a big ball of string that's been yanked every which way. Carlos Forster sings his tunes in a mournful falsetto, weaving his way through squealing beats, weeping synthesizers, and plaintive piano as if he were drunk as a skunk. Most of the time, there's no telling what he's mooning about, although titles like "I Should Have Told You" and "Calm Down Baby" seem to indicate his home life isn't running smoothly. Even without a grounding context, though, It Falls Apartproves highly affecting, if occasionally frustrating -- like a heartbroken cousin with a penchant for moonshine.

 
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