When I first heard of Starsailor, I thought, "How lovely! Imagine a band playing the soundtrack to sailing through the stars." And for the most part, Starsailor actually take this title head on and live up to what my imagination once hoped of them. Love Is Here is full of carefully plucked acoustic strings and shining piano and keyboards. When James Walsh sings, it seems that he is capable of oozing sadness from every fiber in his being: "Daddy I've got nothing left/ My life is good/ My love's a mess/ Daddy I've got nothing left/ What can I do that's for the best?" ("She Just Wept").
Walsh displays a pain that seems beyond his age, and has often been torn up in the British press on account of his influences. Twinges of Tim Buckley (the band is named after one of his records, after all), Neil Young, and Van Morrison permeate the record, but Love Is Here is a tribute, not sacrilege. "Mad, I must have been blind/ To carry a torch / For most of my life/ These days I'm hanging around/ You're out of my heart/ And out of my town" ("Fever").
Although much of the record re-verses and re-crafts melodies in the same vein, there are a few gems that can't be missed. "Good Souls" will incite you to sing along with a defiant Walsh: "One good day of the week/ I'll be higher than the government/ As I turn to you and I say/ Thank goodness for the good souls/ That make life better."
Love Is Here comes around full circle, true to tragic format: "I want to love you but my hands are tied" ("Tie Up My Hands"). It ebbs and flows, climaxes with the title track, but then asks, "Did you ever really love me?" ("Coming Down"). These British gents truly have created the soundtrack for sailing through the stars, especially for the nights you're gazing while lovelorn.