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The End of The Middle Of The Road
on 4 May 2012
Starsailor's debut album, Love Is Here, brought a melancholy air to the laddish Britpop genre that turned a lot of heads. Whilst it was not groundbreaking, it certainly stood out at the time.
Later albums brought collaboration with Phil Spector and a much more generic sound, although James Walsh's vocal style continued to stand out.
Whether or not the decision to go more Middle Of the Road was a conscious one, it did take the edges of what was a fine band, and All The Plans is no different. They didn't know it would be their final album at the time, but if they had I suspect they would have gone out on more of a bang.
Themes of love, loss, what ifs and redemption run strong once again, and rich organ sounds and mournful vocals drive each song. As much as I like Starsailor, two things still bother me. Firstly, the opening track is a belter, like In The Crossfire on On the Outside, but there are few moments that live up to the early strength. Secondly, as always, the album is too short. Starsailor's albums consistently come in at 30-40 minutes in length, and I know that 40 minutes of quality is better than 70 minutes of filler, but it always feels like I'm being short changed.
In short, it's a bit of a shame that they went out on a whimper. It's an album that will sit happily in my stereo, but once it comes out, how long before it goes back in again?