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Love Is Here

3.6 out of 5 stars 146 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Starsailor ~ Love Is Here

Amazon.com

Although Love Is Here, Starsailor's anxious, soulful, folk-and-urban-blues-nuanced debut won't be a culture shock to any British pop-scene follower who experienced, say, Tom McRae's 2000 debut, it certainly jolts the core beliefs and common cultural values of the U.K. indie scene. Nothing about Starsailor is remotely "alternative"; cool dads will appreciate them every bit as much as the hip kids. Not only is tender-aged singer James Walsh proud to admit to being influenced by Van Morrison and Tim Buckley (blimey, it's like punk never happened), he is also gifted with a larynx as gnarled, emotionally articulate, and demonstratively tremulous as the underrated Roger Chapman. Love Is Here is an assured classic, whose exposition of impending mid-life crises and buttoned-up desperation (typical lyric: "I need to be alone while I suffer") is conveyed through shuffling jazz percussion, metronomic acoustic guitars, and keyboards that veer between decorative cocktail piano and ice rink organ (courtesy of former crematorium organist Barry Westhead). Are Starsailor the future of British pop? Let's bloody hope so. --Kevin Maidment
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 8, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00005UOFF
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (146 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #288,511 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
After a strong start in their native UK, Wigan band Starsailor release their debut in the US...and it was well worth the wait. Beginning with the captivating "Tie Up My Hands," Love Is Here is an impressive collection of emotionally-driven songs about loss and hope. Musically, it is filled with catchy folk/indie melodies that are sure to appeal to fans of Coldplay, Travis, Tom McRae, Neil Young, Turin Brakes, Doves, and the Verve.
The strength of the albums lies a great deal in singer/guitarist James Walsh distinctive voice. Very few singers have the ability to convey such depth and emotion as Walsh's, which is particularly evident on the more acoustic-based tracks, "She Just Wept" and "Coming Down." While his style is reminiscent of Tim & Jeff Buckley meets Richard Ashcroft, Walsh is a standout because of how he much he constantly sings from the heart. It's quite breathtaking. Also, an equal amount of credit for Starsailor's musical accomplishments has to go to keyboardist Barry Westhead. His contributions lend a great deal of texture to the songs, especially during "Fever" and "Talk Her Down."
If Love Is Here is any indication, Starsailor is sure to be a band that will go far and I look forward to hearing more of their music in the future.
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By A Customer on January 10, 2002
Format: Audio CD
s a fan of britpop, I have seen the rise of the epic sounding bands, Blur,
Oasis, Charlatans, Verve, Suede, etc. as well as the new rise of the
introspective, mostly acoustic bands, Travis, Coldplay, Badly Drawn Boy,
etc. Starsailor can not only top these 2nd type of bands, but can hold
their own with the Epic bands as well. When I first heard this album I
thought wow these guys are really good, then I got the chance to see them
live and I was completely blown away. Now its one of the only british cds
in heavy rotation of my cd player. Startng with Tie Up My Hands the band
immediately grabs you with the emotion in James Walsh's voice. As you go
on through their single Alcoholic, a fantastic song drenched with emotion,
through Fever and She Just Wept, you will be stunned to know just how young
Mr Walsh really is. Then as if the moody emotional music can't get any
deeper, the band turns it up an unleashes their nod to the epic styles with
Good Souls. As I have heard some friends of mine call it, the best song to
raise a beer and shout along with. Overall, while I remain a huge fan of
Travis, Oasis, Blur, etc. Starsailor has achieved a level above most of
the average Britpop albums that have come out as of late.
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Format: Audio CD
Some may dismiss Starsailor as overly melodramatic- even pretentious- while others may appreciate James Walsh as a tortured figure passionately baring his soul through his music. Perhaps you just have a penchant for big, sweeping music that foregrounds melody and vocals. The reality is Starsailor has all three qualities. These are soulful songs full of emotion that is always evident in Walsh's vocals, even if the lyrics sometimes fall short of expressing the feelings. Musically, the comparisons to Oasis only hold for me on "Good Souls" (which will have you expecting a Liam Gallagher vocal) but it is true that Walsh channels Jeff Buckley for most of the song styles and singing, especially on selections like Lullaby. However, this is not the plugged-in blues of Buckley; the quiet music fits the serious and somber subject matter. There is no denying that James Walsh is one sad dude who is probably happy when it rains, as the song says. It's also hard not to see this album as a star vehicle for Walsh; his voice and sentiments so dominate what the rest of the band does, the songs would not work without him. On the whole, Love is Here boasts mostly strong and memorable tracks and interesting songwriting, although it might make you want to lie down, draw the blinds, and just listen to the music. But at least it does make you want to listen.
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Format: Audio CD
File this cd under sensitive Brit-rock. But unlike bands like Coldplay and Embrace, Starsailor haven't tailored their sound for the masses, which could explain their lack of success. They could still strike it big, if the right single was released. I had my doubts about this album because the two songs released so far "Fever" and "Good Souls" are very lacklustre. Singer and guitarist James Walsh alternates with ease between pained resignation ("Alcoholic", "Love Is Here") and optimism ("Good Souls" and the excellent "Lullaby"). His keening falsetto on "Lullaby" is reminiscent of Jeff Buckley, and the glassy piano coupled with soaring guitars make it the obvious choice for a single, in my opinion. Starsailor are are standard rock outfit with guitar, bass (James Stelfox), drums (Ben Byrne) and keyboard (Barry Westhead). I made the mistake of expecting another Coldplay but the fact is these guys's sound is less polished and much more traditional rock. I think Coldplay's "Parachutes" is a better album but that's saying more about my taste in music than how good this cd is. A promising effort.
*** 1/2
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