Starsailor Silence Is Easy

When Starsailor rode in on the waves of hype in 2001, it became difficult to see why folks were being told to fall for these Jeff Buckley wannabes. Their million-selling debut, Love Is Here, was nothing more than a pompous attempt to cash in on a tuneless album of poor acoustic ballads led by a whinging singer. A year later though, the band stepped into the studio with legendary genius/nutcase Phil Spector, leaving many to believe that with old age, Spector was obviously losing his hearing. However, a disaster did not occur (well, not to Starsailor), and again, Spector worked his magic, though only on two of the album’s tracks (the title track and "White Dove”). And while they now ride the coattails of a suspected killer, Starsailor have managed to record a great album that also includes one production by another legend, John Leckie (the Stone Roses, Verve, Radiohead). This major turnaround is large in part due to singer James Walsh improving his whine to a level of "less but still slightly annoying,” as well as the songs picking up the pace. The title track is a glorious celebration and easily their best song to date, while "Four To The Floor” and "Music Was Saved” keep the blood flowing. It isn’t this year’s A Rush Of Blood To The Head, like many have heralded it (not even close), but Silence Is Easy makes Starsailor the most improved band of the year, which back in 2001, was an award I thought they’d never get. (EMI)