Music News


Although these Brits have earned a footnote in pop-music annals, the reference pertains to someone else: Phil Spector. Several years back, the reclusive Wall of Sound architect was looking for a group to help him break a lengthy layoff, and he settled on Starsailor, a James Walsh-led combo with a taste for melody and drama. This creative partnership generated two songs, one of which became the title track of Silence Is Easy, an album released following the producer's 2003 arrest in the death of starlet Lana Clarkson. Yet despite Spector's rekindled notoriety, Silence went away quietly, and the act's latest release, On the Outside, seems likely to suffer the same fate; the disc is catchy enough, but it feels awfully familiar. Could Spector have given the latest recording some additional personality? Perhaps, but he's been busy: His murder trial is slated to begin next January. Hence, the Starsailors, appearing with Brothermandude and Peter Walker, will have to make a mark without the assistance of a man whose history they briefly shared.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts