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%)
New Sounds | Sam Tongue