Take a quick glance at your Top 8. Look over the pictures of your buddies in various drunken and bare-chested poses. Then ask yourself, Do you trust your friends? Amy Millan, Torquil Campbell and the rest of Stars obviously do; for this project, they’ve let their indie-rock brethren cover their critically acclaimed and most successful album to date, 2005’s Set Yourself on Fire.
The idea behind Do You Trust Your Friends is simple: Each track is remixed and interpreted by another artist or band, many of which also hail from Canada and are part of the extended Arts & Crafts family. In some cases the originals still stand out, but others offer enjoyable changes, such as hearing Jason Collett sing “Reunion” or Most Serene Republic perform “Ageless Beauty.” Among the better tracks are Final Fantasy’s take on “Your Ex-Lover is Dead,” Metric’s version of “He Lied About Death,” and Montag’s rendition of “Set Yourself on Fire.” We could have probably done without the Junior Boys’ ’80s techno beats behind “Sleep Tonight” and two interpretations of “What I’m Trying to Say.”
Similar to the way Feist released Open Season (a remix album in the same vein) to generate interest before The Reminder, Do You Trust Your Friends precedes Stars next full-length, due this fall and tentatively titled In Our Bedroom After the War. Regardless of the impetus, this album gives us (another) reason to be thankful for the camaraderie in Canada.