Album Review: All This Life by Starsailor

Posted by Gig Junkies on Wednesday Aug 30, 2017 Under Album Review, Music News

Review by Simon Saynor.

Some 16 years after their critically acclaimed debut release, ‘Love Is Here’, Starsailor return with their 5th studio album ‘All This Life’. It’s also 8 years since previous studio release ‘All The Plans’. Prolific is not a word you’d associate with Starsailor.

Starsailor

2001’s platinum selling ‘Love Is Here’ reached Number Two in the UK album charts. In the same year they won the Brightest New Hope at the NME awards. Some might ask where did it go wrong for Starsailor. The simple answer is it didn’t. These long hiatuses lead to exemplary quality control. There is very little filler on a Starsailor album.

In ‘Break The Cycle’ James Walsh sings of “Running out of words to write”. I find this very hard to believe. It is Starsailor’s lyrics and Walsh’s unbelievably, achingly beautiful delivery that has always set the band apart.

starsailor_allthislife_800

There are songs on ‘All This Life’ that wouldn’t be out of place on any previous Starsailor album, that is not to say the band haven’t progressed. Opening track ‘Listen To Your Heart’ with its pounding drum intro and wailing guitar could be Biffy. Then the keyboards kick in and it’s The Killers. It’s not till we hear Walsh’s unmistakable voice pleading as he sings the title that we know we’re listening to Starsailor and by that stage it couldn’t be any other band.

Starsailor have always delivered emotionally wrought lyrical masterpieces backed by some of the most haunting melodies. We still get that with tracks like ‘Blood’ and ‘Sunday Best’ but we get out and out pop with the title track and forays into funk with ‘Take A Little Time’ and ‘Caught In The Middle’. ‘Fallout’ harks back to big music epicness. It is Starsailor’s most complete album. It swells with the maturity of a band knowing they are (again) on the crest of a massive creative peak.

Starsailor

Starsailor

To pick a stand out track is tough but if I must it would be ‘FIA’. In a world of OMG, LOL, LMAO etc I was wracking my brains as to what FIA could mean. It was a genuine, and pleasant, shock when I heard Walsh’s unwavering “Nothing’s impossible when you say F*** It All”. It’s a beautiful, builder of a song, Barry Westheard’s echoing piano in particular taking us on a slow determined journey full of hope.

I first saw Starsailor as four nervous young lads supporting The Beautiful South right at the start of their career. They showed then that they had something special, if not a tad raw. I was lucky enough to catch them at The Isle Of Wight Festival this summer where they played to a rapturous packed out Big Top. They were magnificent. They head out on tour with ‘All This Life’ in October. Buy this album then go catch them live. You won’t regret it.

‘All This Life’ is available from the 1st September on Digital, CD and vinyl LP (standard 12” and limited edition coloured 12” formats). Signed and exclusive bundles are also available from the Official Starsailor Store HERE.

Tracklisting:
Listen To Your heart
All This Life
Take A Little Time
Caught In The Middle
Sunday Best
Blood
Best Of Me
Break The Cycle
Fallout
FIA
No One Else

**Photos courtesy of Bianca Barret from our coverage of Starsailor in October 2015 in Wolverhampton – for the full review see HERE!

October 2017 Headline Tour:
12th Oct – Cambridge, Junction
13th Oct – Norwich, Waterfront
14th Oct – Bristol, Bierkeller
16th Oct – Leeds, Beckett Students’ Union
17th Oct – Birmingham, O2 Institute 2
18th Oct – Sheffield, Leadmill
19th Oct – Liverpool, Academy
21st Oct – Newcastle, Boiler Shop
22nd Oct – Glasgow, O2 ABC
24th Oct – Manchester, O2 Ritz
25th Oct – Brighton, Concorde 2
26th Oct – London, KOKO

One Response to “Album Review: All This Life by Starsailor”

  1. Gig Junkies » Blog Archive » Starsailor + Alex Francis + Paves at The Leadmill, Sheffield, UK – 18th October 2017 Says:

    […] five studio albums later Starsailor roll back into the Steel City 6 dates into the UK leg of the ‘All This Life’ tour. The nervousness is now replaced with a confident maturity of a band who know just how good […]

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