starsailor Silence Is Easy (EMI) Rating: NN
If you're aiming for Coldplay-style emotional catharsis in your balladry, you need the chops to carry it off, but crooner James Walsh's vaguely nasal whine doesn't hold a candle to Chris Martin's choirboy vocals. On Silence Is Easy (out January 27), the problem is worsened by an odd mix that sandwiches Walsh's wailing between wafer-thin instrumental tracks and a strange processing effect that makes it sound like he's singing into a cardboard tube. The tunes here plod along at a ponderous pace, with repetitive verses and choruses that left me catatonic. Things get a bit more interesting when they try to branch out - the melodica on Shark Food is a nice touch - but it's mostly dull wallpaper that comes off like a so-so Coldplay cover band.
Starsailor sail into the Guvernment with Tim Burgess Saturday (January 17).