On The Outside (w/ Bonus DVD) - 11668398
First things first. A question: what's the perfect environment to make an album in? Here are a couple of choices. No 1: You're a new British band, you've been on the covers of the music press dozens of times in the space of a year, and your first album's just sold more than 1m copies. Pressure? What pressure? (Well, quite a bit, actually.) No 2: You're a British band, Keane, Coldplay, James Blunt and associated warblers are at the top of the charts, your second album went platinum, but the media glare is on other groups now. Do you panic? Or do you make the record you've always wanted to make?
Starsailor have dealt with both these scenarios. They didn't much enjoy the first (when the involvement of a certain legendary record producer proved a decidedly mixed blessing). But they absolutely loved the second. And when you cue up their impassioned new album, On the Outside, you'll see why. Or rather, you'll hear it. It's there, in the first bars of opener, In the Crossfire, with Stel, Barry and Ben haring out of the traps, and James spitting out a quintessential Starsailor lyric: "I don't see myself when I look in the mirror; I see who I should be." It's there, too, on the future live favourites Counterfeit Life and In My Blood, two gospel-tinged tracks that complete a devastating opening triptych. On the unmistakable, colours-to-the-mast Faith Hope Love. On the epic Keep Us Together, whose backing vocals are destined to be taken up by live audiences on the band's forthcoming tour. And on the heartbreaking closer Jeremiah, a song inspired by the still unexplained death of the British student, Jeremiah Duggan, who died fleeing a far-right conference in Germany that he'd unwittingly become caught up in.
Some bands get to their third album and have you wishing they'd quit after the first. Others, though, only really come to the boil when they've got the brilliant but incoherent debut album and the hig
|Bouncing back from the adventurous, but somewhat uneven, Silence is Easy, which involved chaotic recordings sessions with mercurial producer Phil Spector (shortly before his arrest on suspicion of murder), Starsailor opted for a more muscular, straight-ahead sound for On The Outside. While the amped-up, guitar-heavy approach renews previous comparisons to Coldplay, the Lancashire, England-based group, fronted by emotive frontman James Walsh, still maintains its own voice on strong tracks such as the soaring "In the Crossfire" and the thoughtful, Hammond-laden "This Time."|
The tracklisting for the bonus DVD is as follows:
Making of On the Outside (Short Film), Counterfeit Life (Live LA performance), In My Blood (Live At Somerset House), Tie Up My Hands (Live At Somerset House), Silence is Easy (Live At Somerset House), In the Crossfire (Video) and the 35-minute DVD also features a Photo Gallery.
"A spirited response to their detractors Uncut
"Their most compelling album yet The Daily Telegraph