James new album review at the Express !
Formed in Manchester in 1982, they have constantly produced interesting, ground-breaking work that sounds like no other.
Never a group to occupy the mainstream a great deal but they have flirted with it with singles ‘Sit Down’, ‘Laid’ and ‘She’s A Star’.
They have always had a unique relationship with their audience which has remained throughout their thirty odd year career.
This loyal caravan of people connected with the group around the same time as ‘The Smiths’ were emerging.
James supported them on the ‘Meat is Murder’ tour.
They were the sound of the university refectory, identified by their flowered James logo tee shirts.
There was a time when the bands merchandise was more popular than the group itself, which is an extraordinary achievement.
Flying in the face of adversity and an ever changing and shrinking music industry, the band are back with a wonderful record.
Their thirteenth album ‘Le Petite Mort’ (the little death), sees the group facing their mortality through a beautiful set of moving and inspiring songs.
“It is really important to infuse life with a sense of death because you have to live life for the moment.
“You realise that there is only a finite amount of time that you have, so you better wake up and get on with it” explains frontman Tim Booth.
There has always been a wise spiritual head on this man’s shoulders and he oozes an inner calm.
He is good to be around, in fact I like them all.
Let’s get this straight, it is not a morbid death record, its energy and precision is infectious.
From the opening track the epic ‘Walk Like You’, through to its conclusion ‘All I’m Saying’, this long player is a cohesive piece of work.
It’s one of my favourite albums of the year.
The albums high water mark is ‘Moving On’.
It has pathos and gravitas, it is a song with a wonderful story with a video that is remarkable.
The stop motion video by BAFTA nominated animator, writer and director Ainslie Henderson, is both heart-breaking and heart-warming at the same time.
A character made from yellow wool unwinds as a woman dances care free while a character in a hospital bed slips away.