'Seventeen Stars' harks back to the days when Martin Hannett's production skills ruled the roost. It can be no surprise, then, that the Montgolfier Brothers hail from Manchester where, twenty years previously, echo-laden effects lent the combination of chiming guitar and stark, haunting piano a unique, spine-tingling feel. Here though, the vocals are much stronger than the obviously influential Durutti Column's Vini Reilly; doleful but also crystal clear. The likes of 'Even If My Mind Can't Tell You' and 'Between Two Points' are refreshingly free of over-production and compare favourably to the likes of Badly Drawn Boy in their spartan, heartfelt delivery. The title track is typical lyrically of the whole album; "You talk about the present, the future and the past. Agree that things aren't working". That inevitable sadness pervades throughout 'Seventeen Stars' but nothing can hide the simple beauty of this record.