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?
As they float in
These forlorn notes
They bring about a memory
Of the times you were held close
As the voice spreads out
Through the cracks of the black veil
You wonder why this song
Leaves your heart broken and pale
Then comes the joy
so sweet and contagious
From the heart of the Irishman
A voice so loud yet magnanimous
Some they make you dance
Others make your soul cry
But each one plays some part
In the story of your life
I very rarely think of music reviews, but come one give me a break it’s Valentine’s Day and though I am not much of a mushy person, this album could be a perfect rebound album!
I am not much of a country music fan (used to stick Shania Twain until she started singing songs like Up!) but this one is the most perfect, feel good album I have heard in a long long time!
I started with the title track, song writing is very important for country songs, “Need You Now” is a good start up. It talks of what I call a relationship relapse. The fact that Charles Kelly (lead vocals) and Hillary Scott (the fairer lead vocals 🙂 ) have the option of a duet makes this band even better! There is flexibility, and unlike other country albums all songs don’t seem like the same.
The band started like the perfect 21st century story, Scott and Kelley met over MySpace and decided to form a band with Haywood. Haywood is pretty impressive with the guitar but it’s definitely the strong vocals that pulls them through.
I would single out “Hello World” and “Our Kind of Love”, the serenades can pull at heart strings and leave you with a smile. “Something About a Woman” should probably be a good gift for your Valentine. All in all, a cup of coffee, Marquez’s Love in Time of Cholera and this album in the background make for the perfect toast to love this Valentine’s Day.
I know this may not be the perfect review for this album, most critics have said it’s the same tried and tested formula of Country Music. But for me it’s a re-entry.Play it on your car while going for a long drive with that special someone and the effects will be telling but then even John Mayer and Coldplay can have similar effects on dates so I won’t read much into that.
But they are new to this so I think we should give them a chance. So check Lady Antebellum for that feel good Valentine’s Day (or u could just go check out the corny “Valentine’s Day” flick, I couldn’t care less LOL )