Friday, 22 February 2008

Retrospective - Starsailor

The new acoustic movement was hailed as the next big thing, and the left overs are a bunch of bands with albums that at the time were monumental to the listening public but today seem to have been left languishing at the bottom of the late 1990s early 2000s pile, forgotten about when comparing genres.

A few survived, some spectacularly, some less so. Coldplay are the forever eminent, becoming the superstars they probably were never supposed to be had they released the albums outwith this rather amazing moment in UK rock.

One band that today can still make me smile while listening to their records is Starsailor, a missing member of the Acoustic movement. The debut is stunning, beautiful, and acoustic beauty with the warm vocals from James Walsh and the little guitars licks really light up an rather depressing album. Love Is Here has not only one of my favourite vocals, but one of my favourite songs as well, and probably will be for a long time to come. The massive choruses were tamed by the crowds, and the emotion heard in some of the tracks can be at times of weakness overwhelming.

The follow-up might be one of the best 2nd albums of all time, with the same intimate tracks, such as Shark Food and Fidelity, but adding the stadium fillers that their counter parts Coldplay mastered. The stadium fillers don’t sit so well, but the song Four to the Floor is a great tune, with a rhythm that will get you taping your feet, especially it being book ended in an album of intricate music and lightly played chords that seem to exaggerate the rockiness of a track that is stand-out on this record.

The reason for this misty eyed feeling is that while I know the first two records very well, the third, On The Outside, is less well known to me – in fact, I don’t think I had it properly. Later this year I hope Starsailor return with an album that they deserve, and the commercial success that they deserve too – but the scene has moved on, and other misfits from that period, like Turin Brakes and Elbow, are having to deal with that fact too. I wonder what the years have done to the voice and music of the band – I am awaiting their fourth album with mild anticipation.



Colin Brown said...

Love Is Here is one of my favourite albums of all time too, although I have moved away from that style of music somewhat over the years. I don't know if I've listened to their third album much, I think it passed me by too. I've got it on my pc so I might give it a listen sometime. A good choice of retrospective, think I'll be downloading some more Starsailor rather soon. Alcoholic is a great song and so too is Good Souls...

Little Sara said...

The Small Hours ( is an amazing upcoming band with a similar sound to Starsailor. They're 3 parts British and 1 part American and definitely worth checking out.

Hope you enjoy!