James Walsh - Live At The Top Of The World - EP Review

Designer Magazine don't normally review EP's, but with James Walsh we thought we'd make the exception. Back in the very early days of the website we met Walsh and his band Starsailor playing one of their very early gigs at Manchester Roadhouse and promptly did their first national interview.

A lot of things have changed since then. Back then it took us an age searching for the band on dial up; facebook and twitter didn't even exist in idea never mind reality. So naturally when James Walsh embarked on a solo release it was twitter we heard about it from rather than the old guard of the PR Company.

Much of "Live At The Top Of World" embodies what we loved about those early Starsailor tracks. The soaring vocals come above everything despite featuring the immense talents of Tromso Chamber Orchestra. Full bodied yet subtle these are the best songs that Walsh has written since "Alcoholic" and "Fever". With Sacha Skarbek on production duties there was a slight aprehension that the production may be a little too MOR with the likes of James Blunt, Duffy and Adele being previous clients, but this is definately Walsh's own stamp on things.

Lyrically the EP ploughs similar themes to his previous work - love and relationships that give enough away, but at the same time are ambiguous enough for the reader to relate their own lives to.

"Life" and "Man On The Hill" are undisputed highlights while a run through of "Silence Is Easy" is lush, but not needed as these songs stand up without the past reference points.

On the basis of this an album is an absolute must, but until then this EP essential listening

Words: Alex McCann


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For more info on James Walsh
Walsh plays Moho Live on Nov 14th
www.jameswalshmusic.com

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