Starsailor

Love Is Here

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AllMusic Review by

Starsailor was already a critic's darling in the band's native England during mid-2001, and the group's painfully melodic debut, Love Is Here, poised the band to rise in the shadows of Doves, Coldplay, and Travis. Starsailor, however, isn't as polished as its counterparts, but that's not to say Love Is Here isn't a beautiful piece of work. It's less lilting than Coldplay's Parachutes, and frontman James Walsh's aching vocals shape his angularity as a singer/songwriter. Starsailor is a young band, and Love Is Here illustrates the group's sharp intellect inside basic acoustics. Singles such as the passionately violent "Alcoholic" and melancholic dark hues of "Fever" touch upon Starsailor's own pop stylings. The band isn't typically jaunty, for the members of Starsailor are a bit cynical. Lyrics reflect battles with self-discovery, independence, and being lovelorn; however, they're matches of a survivor. "Talk Her Down," one of the album's most gnarling tracks, bounces with light psychedelic patterns, and "Good Souls" is probably Starsailor's closest rock & roll moment. The live soundscape found on Love Is Here sets up the simplistic beauty of this new band. They didn't go for a grand bombast of crashing guitars and angst-ridden stories similar to Oasis and Manic Street Preachers. They go for something more positive as well -- each song soars with intricate musicianship and melodic lushness. Wigan native Richard Ashcroft would be pleased.

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