Revealing that he has lost none of his charm at all, it opens with the title track, which has a 1970 George Harrison flow while his vocals remain solid. 'Better Part of Me' is stripped right down, and, a beautiful love song to a wife or partner, is very believable, which is what attracted me to Starsailor originally.
'Empire' is a soul-searching number that will be enjoyeed by his regular audience and shows that the muse hasn't left him at all. 'That Man', is toe-tapping fun, while 'Firing Line' is acoustic-based, again bare to its naked bones, and soulful, reminiscent of Sarsailor's original mentor Tim Buckley.
'Broken You' opens with stunning acoustic guitar, and is heartfelt and warm as a father sings to a sick child. 'We Could Try' is anthemic, and recalls Starsailor in all their brilliance.
'Fading Grace' is gentler, and, finding James backed by just guitar and strings, is absolutely heart melting. 'If I Had the Words' is scratchy, with something of a Crazy Horse vibe.
'Isabel' is backed by piano with soaring vocals which increases his vocal range, and creates a melting point of great ideas. The soulfullness of 'Better Luck Next Time' ends a great debut solo album.
Walsh wastes no time reminding us what we have been missing with his unmistakable voice in full flow by the time the title track hits the chorus in the album opener. ‘Turning Point’ has a very catchy chorus – I am instantly hooked and find myself humming and singing along despite it being only my first play of the album. ‘Better Part of Me’, ‘Empire’ and ‘That Man’ follow and four tracks into the album I think to myself “this album could be getting some serious air-play in my car and house over the coming months”.
The album also features a couple of duets (provided you manage to get copy with the Bonus Track – ‘Better Part of Me’ featuring Carice van Houten) and ‘Firing Line’, featuring Suzanne Vega of ‘Luka’ fame, sounds delicately beautiful with her voice complementing Mr Walsh perfectly in this track.
‘We Could Try’ and ‘If I Had The Words’ remind me somewhat of earlier Starsailor material and both sound great. Granted I have always enjoyed James Walsh’s voice and the material Starsailor released but these are some fantastic songs in their own right. ‘Fading Grace’ hits the mark again and whilst Walsh has been compared to Chris Martin in the past, in this song I am thinking more Bono and loving it!