Starsailor assert their rock credentials with moody third album 'On The Outside'.
Jack Smith 2002
Starsailor assert their rock credentials with moody third album On The Outside. Recorded in LA with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith) this release proves the band are still capable of well crafted, affecting songs. "Counterfeit Life", for example, rails against materialism with commendable disdain as singer James Walsh denounces corporate glory above a distorted guitar riff.
Less introspective than previous albums, opening track "In The Crossfire" is typically upbeat, bursting from the speakers with remarkable bombast, all ringing guitars, pounding drums, and the occasional operatic whoop. But there's still the odd ballad too, "Jeremiah" being an ode to a murdered youth.
Elements of U2 are peppered throughout, in the image of the red-filled skies of "In My Blood" and in the stirring progressions that drive "Faith Hope Love". But the band's earnest sentiments are scuppered somewhat when you notice that Walsh's vocals sound like Robbie Williams. Still, On The Outside remains well worth a listen.