Belfast Telegraph

Nigel Goulds Album Reviews 13/02/09

By Nigel Gould

STARSAILOR - All The Plans (Virgin) Starsailor continue to wear their hearts on their sleeves...

Dubbed the Wigan Wailers for their penchant for the odd weepy or three, the band have served up another collection of heart-tugging tracks which again benefit from James Walsh’s — who’s based in Belfast much of the time — unique set of vocal cords.

There’s really nothing new to add to the Starsailor repertoire but when they produce songs of uncluttered grandeur they really are in a league of their own.

Unfortunately, the listener sometimes confuses simple for mundane and the constant pouring out of hearts ends up in a Keane-like depression.

Thankfully, new album All The Plans is more Coldplay than Keane.

Best tracks are Boy in Waiting and the wonderful Neon Sky.

COLIN BLUNSTONE - The Ghost Of You And Me (Ennismore Records)

It may be 46 years since Colin Blunstone first hit the charts with The Zombies, but time has not affected one of the finest voices in pop/rock.

It’s a pity though; Blunstone’s unmistakeably floating vocals are not supported in the quality stakes by the dreary songs on his latest album The Ghost Of You.

The record gets off to a sluggish start — and never really recovers.

It’s a huge relief by the time you reach the lacklustre The Sun Will Rise Again, with its plaintiff violin and whispering vocal.

VARIOUS - Faintheart (EMI)

Movie soundtracks are a complicated beast normally, you’ll get some decent tracks, coupled with dodgy instrumentals and the odd novelty dirge. But Faintheart is an exception to the rule. Even the instrumentals make enjoyable listening.

This is an album, though, that brings together the superb Tenpole Tudor with their boppy classic Swords of a Thousand Men, the Human League’s Don’t You Want Me, the Michael Schenker Group’s Armed and Ready and

Saxon’s And The Band Played On.

Oh, and The Proclaimers’ I’m Gonna Be (500 miles) is thrown in for good measure.

VARIOUS - Confessions of a Shopaholic (Hollywood Records)

Bubblegum pop is well represented on the soundtrack to Confessions of a Shopaholic. Lady GaGa sits alongside Pussycat Dolls and Jessie James’s Blue Jeans. It’s hard work — but if you make it to the end you can enjoy Macy Gray’s exclusive track, Don’t Forget About Me.

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