Starsailor All The Plans Review

Released 2009.  

BBC Review

Full of deep lyrics and intricate melodies, surges and ebbs, highs and lows.

Sophie Bruce 2009

In the wake of the NME Awards 09, Best New Band winners MGMT could do worse than look to their predecessors. Eight years ago, Starsailor picked up 'Brightest New Hope' – and now they're stepping back into the spotlight with cracking new fourth album.

The band say the disc – on which they reunite with Steve Osbourne, who produced their debut - is the result of all the good and bad experiences since 2001. Well there's certainly a lot more light amongst the trademark dirges we've come to know and love.

It's been three years since On The Outside was released, but they've not exactly been sitting around. They've shifted labels (to Virgin, acquired by their original label EMI) and racked up a hefty amount of touring, supporting the Rolling Stones, The Police, U2 and The Killers.

Some of those heavyweights have pitched in on the new album – Ronnie Wood joined one recording session and appears on a version of the title track released as part of first single, Tell Me It's Not Over.

Indeed eagle-eyed fans may even have spotted a leaked version of the first single featuring Brandon Flowers. Though the final version of the track has no sign of the Killer's frontman, it's still a surefire hit. It's a soaring epic which could be mistaken for Keane until James Walsh's distinctive vocals kick in.

The Thames echoes the spaghetti western style favoured by The Last Shadow Puppets – a pared-down version makes a success of Stars And Stripes. Neon Sky is bound to be a hit with long-term fans, with its lamenting melody and soaring guitars. Ditto Hurts Too Much. Safe At Home is also a gem, with haunting vocals laid delicately over steel guitar.

On their official website, the band say they've matured a lot since the fresh-out-of-college teens who penned Love Is Here, and though All The Plans doesn't step out of their comfort zone, their experience is evident. Full of deep lyrics and intricate melodies, surges and ebbs, highs and lows - this is unthreatening music for the moment.

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