October 9, 2014 6:27 AM EDT

The five Canadians who make up the veteran indie pop band Stars are unabashed romantics and unrepentant hams. No One Is Lost, their seventh studio album, revolves around a single idealistic theme: everyone struggles, but no one’s immune to the redemptive power of a great song. Highlights of the album–recorded at Mount Zoomer, a Montreal studio above a defunct gay disco that’s hosted prominent Canadian bands like Arcade Fire and Wolf Parade–have the pulse of a dance floor, like the epic opener “From the Night” and the anthemic title track. Because the band lives on the edge between endearingly earnest and painfully cheesy, there are some inevitable duds. A line like “I call it poetry/ it’s called a pop hook,” from the dreary “You Keep Coming Up,” is an impossible sell, but that’s always been half the fun with Stars: they’re a high-risk, high-reward proposition, and worth it.


This appears in the October 20, 2014 issue of TIME.

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