It's not hard to dislike Starsailor, but there are many factors to be taken into consideration before forming a fair opinion of the Lancashire quartet. Their dreary personas. Lead singer James Walsh's love-it-or-hate-it nasal quiver of a voice. The fact that they write lyrics like 'Don't you know you've got your daddy's eyes / Daddy was an alcoholic'. The fact that not even Phil Spector could complete the production of their second album ('creative and personal differences' were cited for the collapse of recording sessions - perhaps he's a lot more sane than most give him credit for.)
If you're looking for any more reasons to dislike Starsailor, you'll find them in abundance on album number four, which is a continuation of the dull pub-rock sound that they've rarely deviated from during their nine-year career. Midtempo guitar-rock, piano-scattered ballads, pedestrian jangle-pop: it's all here, all topped off with Walsh's forlorn warble and cliched lyrics, which are intended to tug at the heartstrings, but instead bloat the large intenstine. Brief digressions into barren alt-country territory ('Boy In Waiting', 'The Thames') are ineffective, while the 'live' feel of recording only serves to highlight the fact that this is a band infinitely more tolerable when their production is polished and sharp. "We're gonna change the world", exclaims Walsh on monotonous, sub-Embrace thumper 'Listen Up'. Not with this dreadful bilge, they're not.