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July 23, 2024

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Silence Is Easy (EMI)

By: Cam Lindsay

The whingeing that filled Starsailor's 2001 debut album was an irritation that just could not be forgiven. Love Is Here relied far too heavily on mimicking the Buckley clan's passive and delicate masterpieces, proving itself in the end to be an unworthy, overhyped runner-up to Coldplay. However, in a matter of two years, Starsailor have turned things around for their sophomore album. Somehow they managed to rope in the legendary Phil Spector (before he finally decided to start using that gun of his) to produce and drop the blubbering routine. From the onset of Silence Is Easy, the band prove annoyances such as "Fever" and "Alcoholic" are no longer in the cards. With plenty of potential to be a much-loved future single, "Music Was Saved" is a power-packed romper stomper with enough life in it to forgive and forget their past mistakes. The John Leckie-produced "Shark Food" catches the band attempting a bit o' soul, mixing in some unexpected grooves courtesy of a throbbing bass and drum machine. No matter how good the songs are, the main focus for many will be the Spector-produced tracks. Only two ended up making the cut, but it's quality not quantity that counts. "White Dove" is huge, containing Spector's patented "wall of sound" measures accentuated by a selection of strings that deliver an ambience without overshadowing the talents of the band. Lead single, "Silence Is Easy", has to be Starsailor's finest moment to date. Using a piano/drums/guitar combo that harks back to Spector's 60s triumphs, it contains everything to make it a classic pop song: a killer chorus, a hook-filled guitar bit and the mandatory handclaps. A few blemishes appear here and there, like the uncomfortably funky "Four To The Floor", but Silence Is Easy should be heralded as a winner.
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