Starsailor- All The Plans (Virgin) Released 09/03/2009

April 4, 2009 by  

starsailor-all-the-plans

Scenes don’t come any blander then post Brit pop. It saw a multitude of dire British bands try and drag Brit pop’s mid nineties success into the next millennium, but without any real effort to update it. Upon their arrival, the mainly soft rock outfits, were quickly quashed by the rock n roll excitement of The Strokes and The Libertines. Leading the pack were Starsailor, with their focus on good old fashioned song writing and musical aptitude, they seemed to have it in the bag. But, like many, they soon fell afoul of Doherty’s and Barat’s confident swagger and razor sharp trilbies.

Their fourth album ‘All the Plans’, is, as you would expect, very much in the mould of the previous three. James Walsh leads you through the pains of his life, accompanying it with a glum piano and a back drop of wish washy acoustic guitars. Musically it’s accomplished and Walsh’s ear for a harmony has clearly not left him. However, it’s just a continuation of their previous work, which admittedly did see them support the likes of U2 and the Rolling Stones, but with this lazy attitude toward song writing and lack of ideas, they will never achieve the same success as their heroes.

Mercifully, the album is not completely introspective. The political charged lyrics of ‘Stars and Stripes’ does wake you from the slumber induced by the previous eight songs. Its Stanley Road era Paul Weller Rhythm and Blues, provides a nice groove for Walsh to work his message over, before building into a scathing attack on America’s recent activities. ‘Put your bullets down I implore, the ground on which you stand aren’t owned by any man,’ cries Walsh.

‘Tell me it’s not over’ sounds like Keane would of, if Tom had stayed on the cocaine. The opening piano score is direct and attention grabbing, and the guitars are set with enough gain to lift the song away from the soft and more into the rock. However, the rest of the album sounds like the nine songs that no one listened to on Mosley Shoals. Consequently, ‘All the plans’ is just another bland addition to Starsailors’ nauseating catalogue of middle of the road tripe. Surely it’s time to move on?

[rating:3]


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