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Starsailor | On the Outside | review | rock | Lollipop

Starsailor

On the Outside (Artists Addiction)
by Tim Den

It seems that, after the artful Silence is Easy failed to make Starsailor a respected creative entity, the band decided to put away the acoustics and turn up the distortion. On the Outside is a no-frills rock record, one that has arena-sized choruses, crunchy power chords, and a driving momentum that doesn't let up. In other words, it's an album the likes of which no one expected from Starsailor. The band, up until this point, were largely associated with introspective weepers and radio-friendly melodies. Not that On the Outside isn't radio-friendly, it's just much more rooted in the power of loudness than any of Starsailor's past works. Imagine later period The Verve and Stereophonics (but way better) delivered in guitarist/vocalist James Walsh's trademark hooks and chord progressions. The songs are still distinctively Starsailor, only now the guys sound hungry for rock radio domination.

Whether or not this new approach sells has yet to be seen, but I myself miss the variety and maturity of vision found on Silence is Easy. On the Outside is a much easier album to turn on and ignore because it's such a regular rock record, something that can't be said of its predecessor. Sure, Starsailor probably needed to come out swinging on album three, but On the Outside almost flows too well. You're never surprised, it's just one anthem after another. Silence is Easy had peaks and valleys that, although ignored by most of the record-buying public, showcased the quartet's ability to stretch out and test new waters. On the Outside is certainly new waters, but when the swimming area's a safe indoor pool (however spacious and pleasing), is there really any excitement?
(www.artistsaddiction.com)

 


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