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Meet the new Supertramp, far more trampy than super and far more melodramatic than a dorm full of starry-eyed, angst-ridden film students. British too. The press is pumped for these nimrods, what with Super Sensitive Guys like Coldplay and Travis sweepin' the nation with their gently weepin' guitars and violently weepin' lyrics. Starsailor is the same way; just add loungy piano and whinier, more vibrato-obsessed vocals. The group's devotion to U2 is quite obvious on Love Is Here (it's all you can't leave behind), but the execution is woefully botched -- not enough star power, not enough memorable hook power, not enough horse sense propping up those Super Sensitive Lyrics. Sunny pop tunes like "Lullaby" might get yer blood pumpin' (gee-tar solo!), but the words laid atop 'em range from silly ("Don't you know you got your daddy's eyes/your daddy was an alcoholic") to downright soul-destroying.

Hit the deck, kids: "Way to Fall," a ballad dripping in emotive goo before the vocals even kick in, contains the Most Absurdly Whiny Lyrics in a Britpop Song, ever. Morrissey, nothin'.

The chorus counsels thus: "Oh!/I've got something in my throat!/I need to be alone!/While I suffer!" Oh, my goodness. Whatever sun-kissed, California-classic-rock vibe Starsailor can sustain gets bitch-slapped by such cheeseball nonsense. The piano riffs on Love Is Here might sway old Supertramp devotees, but these boys take the long way home and get mugged by maudlin Britpop dwarves along the way. We all indulge our inner angst-ridden film student. We all have our cross to bear. Don't you go carrying anyone else's. I don't care how cute he is.

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Rob Harvilla
Contact: Rob Harvilla

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