One of the buzzier bands from the UK as we head into the last days of 2010 is a four-piece from Sheffield known as Starlings. Anyone over a certain age will hear echoes of Birmingham's world-beaters from the '80s, rather than hometown heroes like Human League or Heaven 17. It starts with arpeggiated synths and front-and-center vocals, but just as the first chorus kicks in the guitar and bass arrive. (For music fans under a certain age, Starlings will probably bring a certain band from Las Vegas to mind.)
In either case, there is a lot here to enjoy. Frontman Justin Robson has a strong set of pipes, and from all appearances he's a better lyricist than Mr. Le Bon ever has been. The rhythm section is tight, and I'd have to defer to the band to explain their Baeleric elements, but I heartily agree with the "Eyes closed... hands high" summary of what fans are likely to do at a Starlings show. No, it's not revolutionary music, but I have to say, it's a style that's always welcome at my house. Only danger: It makes me want to sing along.
On Amazon: Starlings / "Weight in Gold"