James Arthur – James Arthur
Opening with the popular single You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You, James Arthur’s self-titled debut album re-announces his originality, with unique vocal tone and hope for professional, post-X Factor success.
Get Down packs a punch despite a predictable pop crescendo with the use of a gospel choir and synthesised violins. New Tattoo mellows with a vintage Justin Timberlake vibe, but eventually bores. Recovery’s got more of an emotional backbone, and the acoustic Roses, featuring the ever-gorgeous Emeli Sandé, gives an elegant, authentic balance to the album.
There are some seriously questionable tracks like Lie Down that flirt with the idea of jazzy, sexy lyrics but they just don’t hit the mark: “I don’t want to marry you, I just wanna take you home, so lie down baby.” Certain Things, featuring Chasing Grace, lacks any gravitational build on initial listen too, despite her captivating vocals.
Ultimately the instrumental production of the album is what seems to be the problem. It would be interesting to hear it all acoustically – it could really highlight the vulnerability of Arthur’s voice and relationship with his guitar. It just seems so sugar-coated that it takes away from the rawness he was favoured for during last year’s competition.
Thankfully there are more worthy tracks than embarrassing ones; Is This Love? shows real promise. The album is an easy listen and a great first attempt – it won’t be his last one for sure. Ending with a short rap track and forward-planning Flyin’ suggests he’ll be back for more. Hopefully Arthur won’t lose his natural talent to the power of studio processing.
James Arthur was released on 4th November 2013. For further information or to order the album visit James Arthur’s website here.
Watch the official video for You’re Nobody ‘til Somebody Loves You here: