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CD Review: Starsailor

Love is Here

(Capitol)

By Carly Davis
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday Jan. 22, 2002

Looking at the cover art and reading the band name and album title, one may not instantly pick up Starsailor. The album cover has a too-orange, sunset-lit railroad track, and the band's name sounds like a combination between anime and Lisa Frank.

But, according to interviews on Starsailor's Web site, the cover art is purposefully mellow and non-cynical, and the band name comes from Tim Buckley's song of the same name.


Grade:
B-

"It's meant to be uplifting and positive, because everything around at the moment seems to have quite a cynical edge," lead vocalist James Walsh said on the band's Web site. "We wanted to do something that could be perceived as hippyish."

If you are a fan of Jeff Buckley, you may pick up on the band's homage to the Buckleys, (Jeff and his father, Tim). There is also a little bit of Radiohead, Portishead and a measure of Neil Young.

For Love is Here, the group's debut album, Starsailor enlisted the help of producer Steve Osborne (U2, New Order, Doves) and turned out a melodic and emotional CD. The themes of relationships, disappointment and hope are prominent.

In the song, "Alcoholic," Walsh sings:

"Don't you know you've got your daddy's eyes/Daddy was an alcoholic " It's heartbreaking.

Walsh's vocal acrobatics begin to really resemble Jeff Buckley's Grace album on the first song, "Tie up my hands:"

"Wipe the makeup off your face/Tie your hair and gently fall from grace/Until I come again."

Starsailor's influences are somewhat more evident than its own impulses, and the debut leaves room for improvement. The CD is worth a listen, but maybe not worth retail price. Buy Starsailor's influences instead.

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