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Starsailor - Silence is Easy Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 January 2004


Silence is Easy
format: 16-bit Stereo CD
label: EMI Records
release year: 2003
performance: 5
sound 5.5
reviewed by: Paul Lingas

Image While this is their second album and it sounds much like the first, I’m still convinced that Starsailor can get better…if they start putting a bit more variety in their music. They can play, but they need to stop taking themselves and everything else so seriously. They have a niche but I’m afraid that niche is already occupied by other U.K. bands like Travis and Coldplay, who have taken on the mantle of being good musicians while trying to have a message to their music. Silence is Easy is drab and uninspired at times and the lyrics are a bit too melodramatic and therefore often annoying: “Some of us smoke, some of us lie, but it’s all just the way that we cope with our lives.” Thanks for the hot tip.

“Music Was Saved” starts out the album in an almost deceptive way: upbeat, catchy, fun. “Oh my friends we landed in December, creating something for you to remember, the rushes were made and music was saved.” I have no idea what that means but it’s catchy. The title track of the album, is in effect a lie. If silence was easy, then they wouldn’t have made this song. Already, at the fourth track of an 11-track album, we know exactly what we’re getting, and while it is mostly pleasing to the ear, it plays more like background music than anything else. This is because there is nothing in the writing or playing of the music that makes it stand out from the pack. I know that each song in an album should have at least some sort of stylistic continuity, otherwise it should be on another album or would sound like a completely different band, but this is too much.

“Telling Them” sounds exactly the same as the earlier stuff. Yeah, let’s get some whining, plaintive vocals in there, some piano in the background and a strumming acoustic guitar in there, and just for good measure, some strings during the chorus so we know exactly how to feel. Actually, this is a good song, but because it comes fifth, it is hard for it to be recognized for what it should be, as a strong and talented effort. I’ll bet the next song sounds similar to the first five. I’ll bet you $20. Let’s just wait for this one to end … waiting … the strings are really kicking in, we must be close to the end … waiting … almost there … and … YES!!!!! You owe me 20 bucks. “Shark Food” starts out with a muted harmonica, shakers for percussion and a two-note plucked acoustic guitar (at least it’s not strummed). There are about 13 total words in this song, which get repeated over and over. “Bring My Love” at last returns to something more upbeat, at least musically. Too bad it comes near the end of the album.

These belong as the theme songs to television shows, not as the background song during the thoughtful interlude for the main character while he or she contemplates suicide/death/war/abortion/friendship/the horror of drugs/drinking/their abusive uncle, but the music that plays over the opening credits and becomes synonymous with the show. So, buy this if you like catchy yet mellow stuff. I suppose the producers did the best they could with the material. They were smart to put the best song first, thereby guaranteeing sales from people who listen to the first track only at their nearest record store’s listening station.

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