James’ 16th studio album released in June 2021
CD / Deluxe CD / Cassette:
ZERO / All The Colours Of You / Recover / Beautiful Beaches / Wherever It Takes Us / Hush / Miss America / Getting Myself Into / Magic Bus / Isabella / XYST
Double Vinyl versions (Splatter / Picture Disk / Black / Split Colour Independent Record Store and Assai Japanese OBi / Test Pressing):
ZERO / All The Colours Of You / Recover / Beautiful Beaches / Wherever It Takes Us / Hush / Getting Myself Into / Magic Bus / Miss America / Isabella / XYST
Deluxe Digital Download:
ZERO / All The Colours Of You / Recover / Beautiful Beaches / Wherever It Takes Us / Hush / Getting Myself Into / Magic Bus / Miss America / Isabella / XYST
Bonus: Wherever It Takes Us (Demo) / Life (Demo) / Isabella (Demo) / Beautiful Beaches (Live) / Getting Myself Into (Live)
|Release Name:||All The Colours Of You|
|Release Date:||4th June 2021|
James are proud to announce the release of their new album All The Colours Of You. Their 16th studio album will be released on 4th June with the title track available today (1st March) across all DSPs. All The Colours Of You follows the release of LIVE In Extraordinary Times, a live recorded collection of their last studio album Living In Extraordinary Times, which peaked at #1 in the midweeks last December.
Signed by joint label MDs Jim Chancellor and Michael Roe, this album will be their first on new label Virgin Music Label & Artists Services (formerly known as Caroline International). It’s also the first at their new publishing home Kobalt Music, these changes reinforcing the endless and restless ambition they have as they approach their fourth decade as a band.
Recorded in part before the Covid pandemic struck, the album was produced by the Grammy award-winning Jacknife Lee (U2, REM, Taylor Swift, Snow Patrol, The Killers). On production duties with James for the first time, he bought a fresh approach to their sound, working remotely from his studio liaising with Tim (his Topanga Canyon neighbour) liaising with Jim in a daisy chain, reimagining their demos, and capturing the band in all their virtual glory.
The result is a record with the most fresh and festival ready tracks of their 38-year career, the sound of one of Britain’s best bands, deconstructed and reassembled by one of the world’s most renowned producers.
Tim Booth says “With all the shit that went down in 2020 this was a miraculous conception and another big jump forward for us on the back of the last 3 albums. I hope It reflects the colours of these crazy times. Sweet 16 is a proper album, no fillers and is up there with our best. With love. Tim.”
Jim Glennie says “I’m pleased, proud and surprised by this record in equal amounts. Jacknife has pushed us and the songs somewhere new and it’s very exciting. After all these years, we are still challenging ourselves and our fans. Enjoy”.
From the first line on album opener ZERO, ‘We’re all gonna die’, Tim addresses many difficult subjects throughout the 11 tracks, with themes ranging from politics and climate change, to dealing with the loss of a loved one during the pandemic.
Miss America examines the country’s tarnished image through the eyes of a beauty pageant ‘Miss America’s wearing thin, she’s all tiaras and glamour’ while Beautiful Beaches focus is on the fires that ravished California after a vision Tim had of an earthquake and fires, which caused his family to race for refuge on beautiful beaches ‘That life we left behind, we’re racing down to those beautiful beaches’.
Lead track All The Colours Of You tackles the Trump years head on. Based in the US for many years, Tim witnessed first-hand the divisiveness and hatred stoked by the former President. Highlighting the sharp rise of white supremacy during his reign, the track ultimately offers a glimmer of hope, a new and brighter future with the refrain ‘Love all the colours, all the colours of you’.
Recover is perhaps the most poignant track on the record, dealing with the death of Tim’s father-in-law from Covid-19 in the UK. A hopeful track, with a delicate production, it’s an uplifting and joyful song about honouring a loved one’s legacy and spirit, a celebration of life not the sadness of death ‘We will remember how to pass your spirit on’.
Since their breakthrough single in 1991, Sit Down, James have released 15 studio albums, selling over 25 million copies in the process, and performed countless headline shows and festivals across the world. They continue to be a huge live draw, having sold 60,000 tickets for a UK arena tour scheduled for this November and December, a tour which has sold faster than any previous James tour.
James are a jewel in the British music crown. ‘“The truth is we felt we were built to last” – Tim Booth.
All The Colours Of You will be available on the following formats:
- Standard CD
- Deluxe CD (w/ Bonus Artwork / Photos in a DVD Hard Back Book Package)
- Standard LP
- D2C Deluxe LP (Swirl Coloured Vinyl)
- D2C Deluxe LP (Picture Disc Vinyl)
- Indies & HMV Deluxe LP (Multi Coloured Vinyl)
- Coloured Cassette
- Deluxe Digital Album, featuring 5 additional demo and live tracks
3 Songs & Out – All The Colours Of You - 'buy, download or do whatever you need to do to listen to this album'23rd June 2021 |
Confession time, James have always been a band I love but the last few years I’ve not enjoyed their output quite as much, it’s not quite matched up to songs like ‘Born Of Frustration’. Don’t get me wrong, they have always made interesting, quality records, it’s just been a while since one of them hooked me quite as quickly or totally as this album. I almost felt taken back to my days of sitting on various disgusting night club floors while belting out ‘Sit Down’ (by no means their best song). I’m now wondering if I’ve been fair to some of their more recent albums and am planning to go back and listen to them again.
Enough about me though, you want to know if this album is any good, does it keep up the high standards set at the beginning? The answer is emphatically yes. This is no longer the Indie Rock James of their early career, there are a variety of different genres and soundscapes on offer, with there being no weak link. Standouts for me are ‘XYST’, ‘Isabella’, and ‘Getting Myself Into’ but there genuinely isn’t a song on here I didn’t enjoy, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to say that.
This is an album that doesn’t just impact you on an emotional level, it also makes you want to dance, to sway to it, to sing along. This is a band on top of their game, they have also been a quality live act, this album should sound excellent when we finally get back to gigs. Go buy, download or do whatever you need to do to listen to this album, it’s worth the effort. Personally I think I will invest in a vinyl copy.5/5 (100%)
mxdwn.com – Album Review: All the Colours of You is “made of stars.”18th June 2021 |
British band James’ 16th studio album comes barreling out as a creature created by the tumultuous last couple of years. All The Colours of You discusses the topics that formulated 2020 and 2021—from the COVID-19 pandemic, lockdowns, protests and the murder of George Floyd. The songs go from anthemic to a sweaty club beat, all wrapped up in a blissfully light rock tone throughout.
“Beautiful Beaches” is the change in tone the album needed, something to loosen up the sadness of “Recover.” The track sounds like a warm summer day, a perfect day for the beach. It’s light and airy, with the beat of a coming of age soundtrack, kicking in with a little bit of sadness with the electronic sounds that begin and end the song. The drum beats towards the end are sprightly, making sure to not bring down the energy that the song created.
A funky electronic club-type beat introduces itself with the song “Wherever It Takes Us.” The beat bops up and down, perfectly melting with the rock sound. The vocals are close up and in your face as if Tim Booth (lead singer of James) is telling a very specific and intricate story right to the listener. The song plays out almost like a spoken word poem, with wondrous imagery and a grandiose chorus “we’re all in wherever it takes us.” Towards the middle of the song, a woman’s voice appears, weaving and winding its way through the song, smooth and sultry—perhaps this is the “she” referenced throughout the song. Either way, one thing is clear: she’s “made of stars.”
All The Colours of You captures a lot of real moments from 2020, and along with that, it also captures a majestic “multiverse” of songs that will float its listeners out to space. A delicious mixture of electronic creativity and the sadness that comes with realism, James have created an album that’s relatable, healing and that will offer up a place to escape.All the Colours of You is “made of stars.”
Leeds Living – All The Colours Of You, the 16th Studio album from “Madchesters” one and only James.16th June 2021 |
The work this band has produced over the years and their contribution to live music is truly a force to be reckoned with. You may hold close James for many different reasons; for me it’s being the soundtrack to the American Pie era, which makes it all the more exciting to see they’re still part of popular culture and creating narratives on today’s history.
A personal favourite from All The Colours Of You is the closing track XYST. The dramatic drum beats, perfectly matched with the band’s beautiful harmonies singing “You’re one of us”, create such an eerie sound, and closing with a lion’s roar there’s a real punk element to it and I just love it. James co-founder and bass player Jim Glennie simply calls the music “massive”. Tracks on this album are among the most arena-ready in James’ 38-year history.
Stereoboard – James - All The Colours Of You (Album Review)15th June 2021 |
Other curveballs are thrown, with the electronic beats of Wherever it Takes Us possibly the best of that particular bunch with its LCD Soundsystem-like intro. Its verses are somewhat uninspiring but the chorus sticks like super glue. Contrastingly, the jangly guitars that are another band trait rarely appear aside from the motorik Isabella.
James also have a noted ability to churn out less propulsive but deeply resonant moments that encourage a sea of cigarette lighters. Duly, three tracks plough a similar field (Recover, Miss America and Xyst) and recall ‘Laid’ classic Out To Get You in either melody, structure or overall staging. Miss America, though, perhaps offers the most compelling lyrical content as Booth sings of the “love of guns” and “man with the tan” that we associate with our American friends.
‘All The Colours of You’ seems to have reversed a slide that pointed to James petering out in unspectacular fashion. Almost 40 years and 16 albums into their career, then, Booth and team are still relevant, still mesmerising and still euphoric…some of the time at least.3.5/5
North East Post – Review: 'James continue to drive ahead on this colourful journey'12th June 2021 |
James have always had an uplifting element to their songs, though on the album opener, ZERO, Booth offers the opening line that “We’re all gonna die”. This reflective track deals with our mortality as drum beat marks the passing of time. “We are ageing like time” he continues. Happy days!
Wherever It Takes You is more spoken word than actually singing though the chorus has that uplifting vibe that you get when the band are in a more upbeat mood.
Magic Bus is James at their best on a track that will become a live favourite when they tour again; a bass driven melodic track that seems to continue the theme of mortality.
Whilst some of their peers might seem to be stuck in the slow lane, James continue to drive ahead on this colourful journey.4/5 (80%)
GSGM – Review: James - All The Colours Of You09th June 2021 |
With their new album ‘All The Colours Of You‘, Manchester indie-rockers James capture us once more. The record showcases the group’s unfailing commitment to songwriting and hooks us from the start.
Tim also delivers one of the most riveting vocal performances to hit the indie chart in recent memory. Similarly, the variety of sounds on show produces a soundscape unlike any other.
Overall, ‘All The Colours Of You‘ is a tremendous indie summertime listen. It also demonstrates that the group is still as popular as they were decades ago.5/5
QRO – Album of the Week: James – All The Colours Of You09th June 2021 |
The grand ambitions of James are definitely in bold on Colours, such as the pressing title track and the uplifting single “Beautiful Beaches”. They have the emotional stadium size more akin to big eighties outfits from when they got their start, than either the slamming pop or intimate indie of today. Yet they also mix that with other elements, such as the beats-into-brightness of “Isabella” or the ditty aspect in “Getting Myself Into”.7.7/10
Pop Matters – James' 'All The Colours Of You' is complex pop08th June 2021 |
Two things have remained consistent throughout the band’s history: Tim Booth’s distinctive voice and songs with lyrical depth, which you’ll find in great supply in these songs.
All the Colours of You is James’ latest album, and it shows the band continuing with a more layered and experimental sound, to the point that it’s hard to know where you would file this album in a record store. If a group only has a matter of seconds to catch the listener’s attention, then you can say James accomplished that particular mission. The first lyrics to the opening song “Zero” are “We’re all gonna die. That’s the truth.”
Ultimately, the song’s message is that we’re all going to die, which is why you shouldn’t live unfulfilled. The melody is a swirl of guitar, piano, and strings. While the lyrics are thought-provoking, this song could be condensed from its duration of nearly six minutes. Also, for a song with such a hopeful message, it doesn’t come across as particularly joyful.
In the 1990s, the band recorded Wah Wah, a free-form album produced by Brian Eno. It was something different for James, but they’re still recording in that same spirit. “Wherever It Takes Us” is a good example of this. The melody is unpredictable. The verses’ lyrics are spoken and come across as something you might hear at a poetry reading. The chorus’ lyrics are sung like a church choir to add to the unpredictability.
All the Colours of You is a complex album. While its part pop and part rock, ultimately, it isn’t easy to classify. Some of the songs would fit well in the soundtrack of a film adaptation of an Irvine Welsh novel. Other songs would fit better in the soundtrack of a coming-of-age film. Still, for all its complexity, there’s no song you find yourself singing after you’ve listened to the album a couple of times.6/10
York Calling – Review: James - All The Colours Of You08th June 2021 |
All in all, All The Colours Of You is a great addition to James’ vast back catalogue and it’s an album that both old and new fans should love. It’s great to hear them tackling hard themes such as climate change and the covid pandemic in such a stylistic way and the more modern elements that they’ve added sound great, so make sure you check the album out when you can!
The Arts Desk – Album Review: James - All the Colours of You08th June 2021 |
Jacknife Lee’s sleek burnishing and mild deconstruction, nodding to dance music and current pop, helps James still sound big if not exactly contemporary. If some subtlety is sacrificed in still reaching for pop’s brass ring, and the curiosity and craft isn’t always inspired, this is another honourable chapter in an enduring career.3/5
Under The Radar – Review: James have done it again!06th June 2021 |
Musically, the mood of All the Colours of You is decidedly more upbeat than the intimidating, thwacking rock of 2018’s Living in Extraordinary Times, but the lyrics contain just as much venom. Pontificating about climate change, COVID, and politics, frontman Tim Booth provides his usual stinging commentary only this time around it’s wrapped in the band’s majestic amalgamation of anthemic stadium rock and alternative pop hooks. The inclusion of syncopated bass lines, electronic beats, and swirling sound effects create a sound that is both refreshingly unfamiliar yet fabulously James.8/10 (80%)
Our Sound Music – Review: JAMES - 'All The Colours Of You'05th June 2021 |
[James] A band who, perhaps better than any other, are capable of providing hope for the hopeless, light in the darkest of days and an embrace for the broken and lonely. Forever moving forward and always holding out a hand for us to cling to as they do. Not a band concerned with capturing the zeitgeist but, instead, a band who see, clearly, what matters most when other artists are blinded by what matters only to them.
Always, with James, we hear hymns from the village. The village of our own hearts and souls. The village of dreams and faith. The village of hope and belief. The choir sings, the congregation is united and, by the end, we are all lifted up, lifted higher.
With “All the Colours Of You” they have managed something unimaginable, something incredible…their best ever album. Oh, I know…I can hear you now. “What about…”. Well, what about it?
“All the Colours of You” may help to fix you, may bring energy to your weary bones and soul, may offer solace and consolation, may bring some strange companionship and will, no maybe, remind you that you are not alone.
Hot Press – Review: Powerful effort from veteran rockers04th June 2021 |
Epic, prescient themes – viral extremism, BLM, climate change and Covid – are personalised throughout the record. Some lyrics are giddy — on the title-track, the KKK are delightfully rhymed with and summarily dismissed as cuckoo [sic] and ‘Miss America’ is ardent — but James have long possessed an expert ability to create mass euphoria.
MSN – Review: James - All The Colours Of You04th June 2021 |
n a strong week for groups, Manchester veterans James deliver another album with an eye on forthcoming festival and arena shows.
All The Colours Of You plays to their strengths by tapping into singer Tim Booth’s knack of giving his personal lyrics a universal resonance. Its groove-based tunes and Jacknife Lee’s big production capture a band on a roll.
The title track touches on the challenges of lockdown (‘Haven’t hugged a human since the end of May’). The poignant electronic ballad Recover mourns the loss of Booth’s father-in-law to Covid-19 (‘We will remember how to pass your spirit on’). Beautiful Beaches,
Tim’s first-hand account of fleeing his former home in California due to bushfires, is both a climate change anthem and a hopeful, post-pandemic holiday song.8/10
Daily Express – New album breaks emotional boundaries04th June 2021 |
James can make you laugh, dance and punch the air as well as weep. There is intelligence at work here and enough pleasure that on first hearing you barely notice Tim Booth’s heartfelt bombardment of agitprop. Many of the numbers have stings in their tale. The title track is sprightly and propulsive indie pop that packs an anti-racist punch. “Love all the colours,” sings Booth. “All the colours of you.”
Courier Mail – Review: James – All the Colours of You04th June 2021 |
The band may be Britpop at heart, but liberal use of synth often places them in similar territory to New Order or latter-day Coldplay, as heard on the title track – a view of Trump’s “disunited States” from lockdown – and the exuberant Beautiful Beaches, which celebrates finally getting out of Dodge or Kansas.3.5/5
OMH – Review: James - All The Colours Of You04th June 2021 |
All The Colours Of You is … full of stirring anthems that you can imagine being belted out in the arenas of the country. Unlike many of their contemporaries though, there’s a freshness about the album, together with a few surprises.
Wherever It Takes Us harks back to the band’s experimental album with Brian Eno, Wah Wah, full of odd little ambient noises, a near spoken word vocal from Booth and some choral vocals for the uplifting chorus. It’s moments like this that All The Colours Of You really hits its mark – mixing James’ more accessible side with the experimentation that they’ve always been interested in.
Even at its most introspective, All The Colours Of You is an often invigorating return from a band who, despite their veteran status, still have their collective finger on the pulse.3.5/5 (70%)
Skiddle – Manchester band James release brilliant new album 'All The Colours Of You'04th June 2021 |
Covering everything from world politics to climate change and the ongoing global pandemic, the seminal Manchester groups sixteenth studio album is, without doubt, one of their best.
Working remotely on the album from his Topanga Canyon Studio in Los Angeles with neighbouring frontman Booth, the pair collaborated virtually with bassist Jim Glennie to reassemble demos created back in 2019.
The resulting product is a collection of festival-ready anthems, boasting a refreshed and energetic sound the likes of which fans of James will have never heard before. An ambitious body of work, tackling themes of politics, the imminent global climate disaster, and life and death, with an accomplished sound to boot – All The Colours Of You is a perfectly timed release that’s set to resonate with huge audiences at live events throughout the summer.
Vanguard Online – All The Colours Of You’ by James - A Metaphorical Masterpiece04th June 2021 |
James’ 16th studio album ‘All The Colours of You’ is like a piece of artwork in audible form.
Each song on the album is unique, from the storytelling to the accumulation of instruments; every part of each song is like the brushstroke of a painting, each layer added creating a fantastic outcome, with lead singer Tim Booth even reiterating this himself with the belief ‘We think we’ve made a masterpiece.’
Since their debut with ‘Sit Down’ in 1991, James have shown that they are not one to sound similar to anyone else. With a band that have been going for so long, it would be understandable that their music would begin to sound the same as their last release. However, ‘All The Colours of You’ has proved that they do not fit this mould. Discussing the immortality of James, Booth expresses ‘The truth is we felt we were built to last’ . James’ latest album proved they were built more to last but were built to grow and evolve. The exploration of sound and lyricism on this record is unbelievable- it leaves the listener in awe of where each song is to take you.
For a band that have been around for almost four decades, there seems to be no slowing down in terms of their popularity and the stories they have to tell, as ‘All The Colours of You’ demonstrates.
God Is In The TV – Review: James – All The Colours Of You04th June 2021 |
Despite it being recorded, deconstructed and reassembled remotely, James have succeeded in delivering a solid album that reflects the talents of each member and it’s as astonishing as ever that a band with such longevity have been able to avoid nostalgia at all costs, continually experimenting with their sound and always challenging both themselves and their fans.8/10 (80%)
Clash – Review: An eclectic and poignant offering from one of the UK’s most seminal bands03rd June 2021 |
‘All The Colours Of You’ – the sixteenth studio album from Mancunian legends James – might just be their strongest offering to date from the band’s 38 year history.
Whilst there are still shades of James’ jangly indie-pop in parts, this album takes the band into a new sonic adventure where you hear lo-if leanings and pumping club beats.8/10
The Phonograph – All The Colours Of You - 'carefully considered and meticulously put together'03rd June 2021 |
Many musicians have shied away from talking about the Big C, for fear of what – losing timelessness? Feeling too obvious? Well, All The Colours Of You deals with COVID sharply, starkly, and unapologetically, proving that sometimes what seems obvious is necessary. The title track singes through lyrics about quarantine, the Ku Klux Klan, being caged, literally and metaphorically – but it doesn’t feel rushed or unimaginative. James are so seasoned by now that All The Colours Of You already, somehow, feels like a far off legacy of the time it was written in, unearthing the past in synthy grandeur and swelling power to tell its tales.
James have excellently blended their aptitude for writing bangers that shoot straight to iconic status with the moral need of bands to observe and reflect the world around us. It would be easy to say it feels effortless – James certainly have the prowess to nail it, and they have done, but every part of All The Colours Of You doesn’t feel effortless, it feels carefully considered and meticulously put together. James are world-class stalwarts of the indie scene, and on All The Colours Of You they prove why they have remained so since their conception as a band – they’re responsive. James consistently create top-quality music, but they keep growing in necessity and sensitivity.8.5/10 (85%)
Mojo – Review: James - All The Colours Of You03rd June 2021 |
Their 16th studio album, but first produced by Jacknife Lee.
For a band who seemed on the verge of implosion during their Sit Down pomp, James have proved to be admirably indestructible. With singer Tim Booth residing in California, they’re bi-continental these days and with their 40th anniversary looming, they’re at a late-period peak. In Booth’s Topanga Canyon neighbour Jacknife Lee, they’ve found the man to give these big songs the big production they need, adding layers of richness, from the choir on Wherever It Takes Us to Hush’s techno pulse. Very much an Englishman abroad, Booth rails against Trump on the lockdown anthem title track and gets caught in a California firestorm on Beautiful Beaches. The centrepiece, though, is Recover, which details Booth’s father-in-law’s death from Covid-19: when, over the course of one heart-stopping verse, he charts a decline from sniffling to assisted breathing, it’s the most moving writing of his career.4/5 (80%)
Scottish Music Network – Review: This remarkable album is not just one for fans of the band03rd June 2021 |
This remarkable album is not just one for fans of the band but it is a welcome to the world of the music of James. The album is full of emotion from happiness to sadness. It will not disappoint; it is a gem at the top of a tree.
This is an album I would recommend to be in your collection that is with all the other 15 albums. They are superb and never seem to grow old. There is always something fresh you will find within the lyrics of the songs and will come out of the blue, then revive your love for James.
Uncut – Review: James - All The Colours Of You03rd June 2021 |
Inventively produced by Jacknife Lee, All The Colours Of You is a winning synthesis of James’ anthemic tendencies and their more instinctive weirdness. [Print only: Jul 2021, p.27] 7/10
The VLM – Review: All the Colours Of You is a technicoloured apex in the band’s discography03rd June 2021 |
You would be forgiven for asking if after all of this time, and all this music, whether the Manchester band could still have something to say, let alone still be relevant. But James with All the Colours of You, have not only released a record that beautifully reflects the shared human trauma of the pandemic but they have also come out with a record that shines like a beacon, offering hope, light, and a confirmation that music can really help be the voice for positive change.
Previously released singles tend to be the most poignant topically and cover a wide range of themes. The title track deals with the carnage of divisive political agendas fuelled by xenophobic hate, ‘Beautiful Beaches’ deals with climate change and the fires that devastated parts of California (the crescendo of which will leave even the most stoic of listeners blurry eyed), while ‘Recover’ details Booth’s experience of losing his father-in-law to COVID-19.
If you are new to James or worried that a band of this longevity would have anything new to say, the only option is to put on your headphones and grab your tissues because All the Colours Of You is a technicoloured apex in the band’s discography.
The Fire Note – Review: James - All The Colours Of You03rd June 2021 |
Maybe James imagines they’re the dance band for the apocalypse, or perhaps these are the anthems from The Last Chance Cabaret that we need to lift our spirits for the struggles to come, but either way, All The Colours Of You feels like the perfect party record for this summer as we are about to step back outside of our caves and return to the larger world outside.
Louder Than War – James: All The Colours Of You – album review02nd June 2021 |
Having listened to All The Colours Of You a number of times over the last couple of weeks I can safely say that James are one of the few bands who continue to improve with age. There isn’t a weak track amongst the set, although a particular stand out for me is Magic Bus, a pumping club track with a driving beat that would’ve sounded amazing back in the Hacienda.
With 39 years experience behind them their 16th album can easily be ranked as one of their best.
Northern Exposure – Review - James 'All The Colours Of You' Album02nd June 2021 |
If you had to pick one album to illustrate the peculiar blip on our calendars that was 2020, James’ latest offering is your best bet. The band began working on ‘All the Colours of You’ in early 2020 and it is finally set to release on 4th June 2021, and I can guarantee any who listen to it will agree it was worth the wait.
All the Colours of You is worlds away from, the folky guitar sounds of fan favourites Laid and Sit Down. For those looking for something more like the James of old, latest single Isabella Does not disappoint with echoes of 1994’s hit Tomorrow. This new record is an example of a band whose career spans decades striving to reinvent their sound once again, whilst still commenting on universally relatable issues. All The Colours of You really is a product of its environment. From the production methods to the lyrical content, right down to the artwork this album works perfectly as a time capsule for some of the strangest times in living memory.
Gigwise – Album Review: James - All the Colours of You "Woefully out of step"02nd June 2021 |
With their latest release, All The Colours of You, James are woefully out of step. Their mixing of dance and indie fails to land, seeming muddled and confused in today’s modern musical landscape.
Album opener ‘ZERO’ is a high-point of the record. Leading the listener in with ambient and noise fuelled stammers, James mix in with gentle and dulcet piano to make something sounding unnerving. Booth’s cries of, “We’re all gonna die that’s the truth, stop measuring time by money or truth” giving the track an unflinching realism surrounding their age.
All The Colours of You fails to hit the mark. Coming from a band that once sounded so fresh and on the cutting edge, this album already sounds dated and misguided. Having said that, it would take more than this to come close to tarnishing James’ legacy as one of the country’s many iconic bands.4/10 "Woefully out of step"
Even The Stars – Review: James - All The Colours Of You02nd June 2021 |
Their sixteenth studio album All The Colours Of You asks questions of the world around them, in their line of sight the mutation of the extraordinary times of their last album into social revolution, pandemic and personal loss, unafraid to challenge whilst pushing their playful side to the fore. Weird, but accessible, it’s possibly the most accurate snapshot of the real essence of James that they’ve ever released.
Producer Jacknife Lee’s mark is all over All The Colours Of You. They met, shared the demos, and set to work with the rest of the band contributing and directing from across the Atlantic. Elements of the record come from Jacknife taking those demos and smashing them to pieces and rebuilding, creating some very unusual and initially unnatural sounding structures.
Without the often stifling intensity of the studio environment the songs on All The Colours Of You are given the space to breathe, James relinquishing control to Jacknife and allowing his ideas to infiltrate and infuse the record in a way their search for absolute perfection has sometimes prevented their albums from reflecting the energy and risk-tasking adrenaline of their live shows. Circumstance has led to compromise in approach, but not to quality.
Like when Eno loosened those chains during the recording of Laid and Wah Wah, All The Colours Of You is perhaps the most Jamesian of James albums – an instinctive unplanned reaction to whatever chaos the world has thrown at the band. If you’re here to relive your youth, you’ve come to the wrong place. Perhaps All The Colours Of Us would have been a more appropriate title.
NARC – Paul Broadhead discovers a melting pot of sounds on James’ 16th album01st June 2021 |
“We’re all gonna die,” croons Tim Booth on James’ 16th album, but he’s never one to wallow. Instead, we get a melting pot, occasionally flirting with the genius of James of old, like the energetic Isabella and fast-paced, optimistic Beautiful Beaches.
Sadly though, ideas seem half-realised, like the forgettable Hush and cringe-worthy Magic Bus. Themes of lockdown alienation run throughout, especially on the title track and whilst Tim’s earned his elder statesman status, lyrics can feel just a little like newspaper headlines, covering topics like BLM and gun control without any real insight or wisdom. Ironically, it’s Wherever It Takes Us which is the highlight; both sonically speaking and for Booth’s likeable rapping, but where it takes James is harder to envision.3/5 (60%)
This Is Soundcheck – 'All The Colours Of You' proves that creatively they remain at their peak01st June 2021 |
‘All The Colours of You’ may not reach peak heights from the ‘Laid’ or ‘She’s A Star’ eras, but stands tall against their illustrious catalogue and proves that creatively, they remain at their peak.
The album is filled with celebratory and euphoria inspiring anthems like the album’s title track. Whilst listening to this gem of a record, you can imagine a full arena or a large festival field and people dancing and embracing in those ways we used to in pre-pandemic times. Part written and recorded just before that dreaded day in March 2020, you get the essence of freedom and escapism running through each track.
An album of delights, and proving once again that they are in the midst of a new creative wave, ‘All The Colours of You’ stands proud with their enchanting back catalogue. For a career that has spanned nearly 30 years, James prove that there is still inspiration everywhere, even in the most frustrating of times.4.3/5 (86%)
New Sounds – Album Review: James – All The Colours Of You (Virgin)28th May 2021 |
For me the name James conjures up a plethora of images that radiate joy, whether it’s standing out on stella soundtracks like; The To-Do List, The Worlds End and a couple of American Pies, or being the living embodiment of eclectic ecstasy for over 30 years, they always seem to make the world a happier place in their own way. This is why the opening line to their latest album felt like such a knife to my heart. Hearing James say “We’re all gonna die, that’s the truth. Quit measuring time, by money and youth” is like watching Dick and Dom filling out their tax returns.
Opening track Zero, although carrying the heavy punches of realist lyrics that walk the edge of the pessimistic line, still has a beautiful feel to it that explodes into the audio equivalent of throwing open the blinds and letting the sun in.
Unfortunately, the same can’t be said about the next couple of tracks. All The Colours Of You and Recover feel like a band blissfully unaware they are out of their comfort zone, with no sense of passion or originality that makes the opening track stand out.
Wherever It Takes Us is up next and takes a sharp turn down a new, far more interesting path. The vocal delivery in the verse doesn’t let up, sounding like if John Cooper Clarke fucked Bono, which then releases into a joyous chorus sung by a choir that is clearly going to be a highlight when played live on their upcoming tour.
This is far more than just another “It’s just a money grab, Insert Name Here fans will buy anything they put out” but if you are a James fan that will buy anything they put out I think even you will be pleasantly surprised.3.5/5 (70%)
On Magazine – All The Colours Of You 'will take you on a rollercoaster of your head space'25th May 2021 |
Tim Booth has never been an artist to shy away from addressing things others stay away from as the title track delivers a slap-in-the-face realisation of the damage that Trump and his abysmal legacy has left America. Repercussions of his actions continue to incite racial hatred, as Booth poignantly urges: “Love all the colours, all the colours of you”. It is a bona fide anthem – and one destined to become a festival favourite.
A standout track is ‘Isabella’, with its deliciously gothic undertones and some electronic beats that would make Gary Numan blush, yet it manages to be another soul-rousing anthem.
All the Colours of You will take you on a rollercoaster of your head space, but you will come out the other side feeling uplifted and enlightened.8/10 (80%)
Record Collector – Manchester veterans continue to explore different territory23rd May 2021 |
On their 16th album, James face down the challenges of longevity assuredly. Bands don’t often produce their most engaged work four decades in, but All The Colours … looks to James’ past only to channel their founding exploratory impetus into exultant, reflective and wide-ranging new shapes.
Begun before the pandemic and completed during lockdown with producer Jacknife Lee, the album grapples with Covid-19, climate change, American injustice and more. And yet it foregrounds themes of unity and release with care, urgency and soft psychedelic colours: without downplaying its themes, All The Colours … unifies James’ fringe credentials and capacity for festival-sized catharsis.
James’ arsenal of unifying song is rousingly expanded for the occasion here. Both an album for today and a testimony to their formative drive, it silences any fear that James might be losing altitude. They have earned the right to bask in past glories, but James still have things to say and the momentum needed to put them across. ‘:Jump the fence,” sings Booth, recalling 1992’s (“Break down the … “) Government Walls as XYST closes the album with another stinging attack on divisiveness. As James know, this is no time for sitting down on the job.4/5 (80%)
Northern Life – Culture Club And James Join The Scarborough Line-Up20th May 2021 |
This will be the third time James, who gave the world such timeless anthems as Sit Down, Born of Frustration, She’s A Star and Come Home, have headlined Scarborough OAT after shows at the Yorkshire coast venue in 2015 and 2018.
“We always have a great night there,” said bassist Jim Glennie, “even back in the days when you had to cross the old moat to get to the audience! We are looking forward to another very special night on the Yorkshire coast.”
Recorded in part before the Covid pandemic struck, All The Colours Of You was produced by the Grammy award-winning Jacknife Lee (U2, REM, Taylor Swift, Snow Patrol, The Killers) who bought a fresh approach to their sound. Working remotely from his studio and liaising with them, Lee reimagining their demos, and captured a band in all their virtual glory.
The result is a record with the freshest and festival-ready tracks of James’ 38-year career. It is the sound of one of Britain’s best bands, deconstructed and reassembled by one of the world’s most renowned producers.
- 3 Songs & Out – All The Colours Of You - 'buy, download or do whatever you need to do to listen to this album'
- Yorkshire Times – Interview With Saul Davies, Guitarist With James
- mxdwn.com – Album Review: All the Colours of You is “made of stars.”
- Leeds Living – All The Colours Of You, the 16th Studio album from “Madchesters” one and only James.
- Stereoboard – James - All The Colours Of You (Album Review)
- The Line Of Best Fit – Nine Songs: Tim Booth
- North East Post – Review: 'James continue to drive ahead on this colourful journey'
- Redbrick – Music Critic Bethany Carter meets Jim Glennie to discuss James's new album, politics, tours, and more
- Yorkshire Post – James release new music video filmed in grand surroundings of Broughton Hall in the Yorkshire Dales
- Music Week – Virgin's Jim Chancellor on James: 'We've been reaching for the stars!'
- GSGM – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- QRO – Album of the Week: James – All The Colours Of You
- Pop Matters – James' 'All The Colours Of You' is complex pop
- York Calling – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- The Arts Desk – Album Review: James - All the Colours of You
- NME – Why it’s time for a return of the indie beef – in all its messy, undignified glory
- Charles Hutch Press – ‘The last thing you want at this time is something that’s depressing and heavy,’ - Jim Glennie
- Under The Radar – Review: James have done it again!
- Our Sound Music – Review: JAMES - 'All The Colours Of You'
- Independent – James: ‘We were so hopelessly indie-schmindie...’
- Hot Press – Review: Powerful effort from veteran rockers
- XS Noise – Podcast: Saul Davies, Guitarist With James on their 16th album 'All The Colours of You'
- MSN – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- Daily Express – New album breaks emotional boundaries
- Courier Mail – Review: James – All the Colours of You
- OMH – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- Skiddle – Manchester band James release brilliant new album 'All The Colours Of You'
- Vanguard Online – All The Colours Of You’ by James - A Metaphorical Masterpiece
- Varsity – Interview - Jim Glennie ‘You want something that’ll make people dance’
- Absolute Radio – Session: Watch James perform 'Tomorrow', 'Say Something' & three new songs
- God Is In The TV – Review: James – All The Colours Of You
- Absolute Radio – Video Interview: James' Tim Booth recalls rescuing Jacknife Lee's family from a rattlesnake
- Music Week – James' co-manager Meredith Plant on the band's fresh start
- Clash – Review: An eclectic and poignant offering from one of the UK’s most seminal bands
- Telegraph – Interview: Tim Booth on cults, Coldplay and why Sit Down is ‘a medicine we need right now’
- The Phonograph – All The Colours Of You - 'carefully considered and meticulously put together'
- Mojo – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- Scottish Music Network – Review: This remarkable album is not just one for fans of the band
- Uncut – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- The VLM – Review: All the Colours Of You is a technicoloured apex in the band’s discography
- The Fire Note – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- Louder Than War – James: All The Colours Of You – album review
- The Hustle – Podcast: Interview with Tim Booth of James
- Northern Exposure – Review - James 'All The Colours Of You' Album
- Gigwise – Album Review: James - All the Colours of You "Woefully out of step"
- Even The Stars – Review: James - All The Colours Of You
- NARC – Paul Broadhead discovers a melting pot of sounds on James’ 16th album
- This Is Soundcheck – 'All The Colours Of You' proves that creatively they remain at their peak
- Brig – An Interview With James’ Jim Glennie
- New Sounds – Album Review: James – All The Colours Of You (Virgin)
- Irish Times – James man Tim Booth on pandemic-centric new album and touring Ireland
- Live4ever – Interview: ‘We always look to be uplifting’ – Jim Glennie talk us through All The Colours Of You
- On Magazine – All The Colours Of You 'will take you on a rollercoaster of your head space'
- Los Angeles Daily News – Wildfires, pandemic and protests inspired James’ new album, says singer Tim Booth
- Record Collector – Manchester veterans continue to explore different territory
- Riff Magazine – Interview: Tim Booth of James searches for a safe haven on ‘All The Colours Of You’
- Northern Life – Culture Club And James Join The Scarborough Line-Up
- Stereoboard – James Continue To Tease 'All The Colours Of You' With New Track Recover
- 2021+: All The Colours
- Benidorm Visor Festival – 17th September 2022
- Barcelona Apolo – 15th September 2022
- Madrid La Riviera – 14th September 2022
- Ragley Hall Camper Calling Festival – 28th August 2022
- Southsea Victorious Festival – 26th August 2022
- Warrington Parr Hall – 29th June 2022
- Eridge Park Black Deer Festival – 17th June 2022
- London Kenwood House – 10th June 2022
- Bath Racecourse – 3rd June 2022
- Lisbon Campo Pequeno – 22nd April 2022
- Porto Super Bock Arena (Pavilhão Rosa Mota) – 21st April 2022
- Porto Sala M.Ou.Co – 19th April 2022
- London The SSE Arena Wembley – 4th December 2021
- Manchester AO Arena – 3rd December 2021
- Dublin 3arena – 1st December 2021
- Glasgow The SSE Hydro – 30th November 2021
- Cardiff Motorpoint Arena – 28th November 2021
- Birmingham Utilita Arena – 26th November 2021
- Leeds First Direct Arena – 25th November 2021
- Glasgow Playground Festival – 24th September 2021
- Margate Dreamland – 23rd September 2021
- Isle Of Wight Festival – 17th September 2021
- Newcastle Exhibition Park – 16th September 2021
- Scarborough Open Air Theatre – 9th September 2021
- Warrington Neighbourhood Weekender Festival – 4th September 2021
- Lancaster Highest Point Festival – 2nd September 2021
- Beautiful Days Festival – 21st August 2021
- Oxford O2 Academy – 17th August 2021