All the Plans

Studio Album by released in 2009

All the Plans review

Starsailor, one of the best representatives of its epoch

The British rock collective Starsailor was formed on the turn of the centuries and became one of the best representatives of its epoch. Its 2002’s debut album Love Is Here conquered the audience with the love lyrics worthy of admiration and a soulful performance of love ballads but many thought that the rock power was evidently missing on it. The musicians filled the gap on the following creations Silence Is Easy (2003) and On The Outside (2005) over and above but then decided that aiming only to meet the critics’ requirements they did not fulfill their own ideas. Therefore Starsailor got to work at the new material in 2007 concentrating on the result satisfying the band members in the first place. Carefully and scrupulously making the sound perfect the band has spent more time on the album’s preparation than on any of the previous ones and finally its fourth creation All The Plans sees the light of the day. The band gets back to basics on it, i.e. to beautiful love ballads and at the same time thinks of its fans demonstrating its best playing in its existence.

Strong emotions and expressive tunes on All The Plans

The main themes on All The Plans are those of love, breakup and world politics and stylistically the album is very similar to the debut. According to the front man James Walsh the guys did not load the songs with various rock hooks as before but just took rather simple melodies and did their best so they sounded as expressive as possible and shone with strong emotions. Touring on all the world’s continents during the past several years Starsailor has performed different text versions of the first single Tell Me It's Not Over opening the album. This song is devoted to an unfaithful girlfriend for whom the protagonist still has got feelings and Walsh’s vocals sound so sincere on it that he seems to burst into tears in a moment or so. The former title track Boy In Waiting is more positive and tells of a guy full of hope and patience while The Thames is a completely different story. A more intriguing arrangement built on contagious guitars, a complicated tune and the lyrics painting vivid London images make this love ode on of the album’s highlights. The title track is also the one to be referred to them: a distinctly heard sounding of more than one guitar, unobtrusive drums harmonica at the end make a perfect background for the vocalist’s heartfelt singing. Yet to know what this guys is really able to do you are obliged to listen to the most beautiful ballad on the album Neon Sky before the chorus his vocals even remind of those of Skunk Anansie’s Skin! On not simple song Hurts Too Much you can make sure that there is no limit to his heartfelt singing due to which the lyrics sad as they are become even more expressive. The band’s political views are presented on Stars And Stripes about modern America and the album closer, the shortest song Safe At Home is so soft and peaceful that seems to be a wonderful adult lullaby.

Sometimes it is worth while sticking to one’s guns

Strange as it may seem but with the enormous number of young rock bands Starsailor has managed to outstand against their background. Perhaps the reason for that is the indisputable talent of vocalist and guitarist James Walsh, or that organist Barry Westhead has been taken as a keyboards player in his time, or the beautiful ballads that never fail to find their listener. Then again, it is unnecessary to try guessing what the secret of its popularity is because the main thing is the music itself. Demonstrating that it has no trouble performing a real tough rock Starsailor became even more convinced that it is best at performing love ballads and the album All The Plans serves the best way to prove it’s right. Naturally the clear sounding of guitars, piano, drums and of course the vocals conquer at the record’s very first sounds and already those factors make it a worthy continuation of the band’s creative path. Yet without good tunes, original lyrics and Walsh’s powerful vocals it would be just another example of a quality studio work. These 11 tracks will open their new sides with every listening and in the end you are sure to agree that sometimes it is worth while sticking to one’s guns as the splendid Starsailor has done.