Picks and Pans Review: Silence Is Easy

UPDATED 03/01/2004 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/01/2004 at 01:00 AM EST

Starsailor

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Attention, Coldplay fans: If you're looking for some brooding Brit pop to tide you over until the next disc from Chris Martin and company, check out the latest by Starsailor. On its second album this quartet from Wigan, England, keeps cruising the same melancholy and melodic waters it visited on 2002's noteworthy debut, Love Is Here. Helming this ship for two tracks is legendary producer Phil Spector, who worked with the original British fab four, the Beatles, on 1970's Let It Be. Producing for the first time in more than 20 years, Spector took Starsailor to London's Abbey Road Studios, where the Beatles also recorded part of Let It Be, to lay down the driving title tune and the string-laden ballad "White Dove." (Spector has since been charged with the murder of actress Lana Clarkson at his home near L.A.) Elsewhere, Starsailor, led by singer-songwriter James Walsh, picks up the tempo on the anthemic opener "Music Was Saved" and the dramatic dance track "Four to the Floor," which juxtaposes a sweeping orchestral arrangement with a shuffling hip hop beat. On these numbers Starsailor successfully navigates out of mopey mode.

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