With Silence Is Easy, Starsailor continues its growing mastery of their Brit pop/rock songwriting. They've made a name for themselves among the many popular British bands today, enough to garner interest to get Phil Spector to produce a couple of tracks. With this being their second album, the band continues to mature with its sound.
Keeping clear from being depressing and bleak-sounding, Starsailor sings more about dealing with life and overcoming problems and conflicts -- from music itself to the more personal. According to singer James Walsh, the record "is about finding your place in the world," and with songs like "Some of Us"," it's very apparent; with lines like "it gives us a way to cope with our lives," the concept of struggling to endure comes forth as a message to not give up and keep going. "Music Was Saved" is a more straightforward song, up-tempoed and uplifting, a song not unlike a hymn to being a musician.
The Phil Spector produced track "Silence is Easy" contains that loudness and cleanness his work is famous for, yet Starsailor takes this approach and melds it into their own sound -- succinct and powerful. Walsh's vocals are solid, as are his backups, and the song builds at the end to a nice collection of sounds and melody.
"Telling Them" is the track that showcases Walsh's vocals to their best, as does "Shark Food" showcases his songwriting. The latter is a rolling acoustic song, with keys that rushing cymbals. It's quite different from the previous songs, and as the vocals build it builds into a powerful chorus. The second Spector production is "White Dove," a softer song, with much symphonic accompaniment. It's quite beautiful, and the solidification of every instrument to the vocals creates a spinning, dreamy song.
Starsailor has proven with Silence is Easy that they can continue making good music, and collect them into an album that is solid and unified. It is an accomplished, mature album that can only be described as good songwriting and great performance.
Tom Fraher is a Contributing Writer. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.