On the Outside

The first words you hear on Starsailor’s third album get your attention right away: “I don’t see myself when I look in the mirror/I see who I should be/I don’t see myself when I look in your eyes/Thank God for that.” These killer lyrics, from the forceful single “In the Crossfire,” set this U.K. quartet off on the right course for a disc that puts them solidly behind Coldplay and Keane in the race for Britpop supremacy. Like both of those other bands, Starsailor has a penchant for pensive lyrics, lush keyboards and soaring melodies. But on the driving, anthemic “Keep Us Together,” they come up with a stadium sing-along chorus straight out of the U2 playbook, with lead singer James Walsh doing his best Bono imitation. It all makes for a CD that may not explore any new waters, but cruises through some pretty good old ones.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “In the Crossfire”

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