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.”
mxdwn.com | Grace Galarraga