Chaos and the Calm and then some…

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If ever a title has done more justice to an album, it is now. James Bay’s haunting voice echoes in my head while I write this one. Listening to it the first time, one is first impressed by the layers the melody has. The second time, the maturity of each song, hits you like a cool breeze on a warm day!

The beauty of the album is I haven’t really been able to pinpoint the influences of the artist. He doesn’t sound like anyone else. I would call this a new direction for soft rock, then “Best Fake Smile” bursts through the speakers and I think, perhaps this is more rock and roll.

“Let it go” and “Move Together” have become my new favorite rock ballads. In his introduction, he has said he wanted to make music that had real meaning. This he has done with such ease that it’s hard to believe he is a new kid on the block. There is a sense of surety and maturity in each note and each beat. While stand alone, each song rings true, the real meaning of the album unveils itself when you hear the songs in the exact order they appear in the album.

From the chaos of “Craving” to the calm of “Hold back the River” back to the chaos of “Best Fake Smile”, he truly has tried to keep moving in extremes of emotions. But never, not even in the sorrow of “Move Together”, has he seemed unhappy or in pain. This is not an album for the broken hearted, this one is for those who wish for a new day. This one is for those who wish to “keep the peace between the sheets”.

To some up the album’s beautiful simplicity in one phrase, “Why don’t you be you and I’ll be me?

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