I recently conducted an interview with Saul Davies of James, which left me wanting desperately to hear their latest album, All The Colours Of You. The album has finally been released and I’m pleased to say that it’s well worth a listen, for old and new fans of the band. The tracks on the album have more in common with the music the band has released over the last decade (compared to their early work), but don’t let that put you off, as it still makes for a great overall listen.
By Jane Howkins
All The Colours Of You was produced by Jacknife Lee, and I think his production style works very well with the sort of music that James make. It sounds very well produced – it’s quite clean, but it never sounds too soft – production quality is one of the things that can really make or break an album for me, so this was definitely a plus.
Lyrically, the themes of the album are rather urgent and sound very relevant when considering the events of the last couple of years – lyrics about climate change, the covid pandemic and the Black Lives Matters movement are present, and it all makes for a very interesting listen. Recover was dedicated to those who have lost their lives during the pandemic and it also acts as a very touching tribute to frontman Tim Booth’s father-in-law, who sadly passed away as a result of covid 19. Elsewhere, Beautiful Beaches looks at the effects of climate change and global warming on the world – it’s great to hear a band talking about such issues – back in the 90s, who would have thought the band that created Laid would be talking about such serious issues now?
In terms of music, James’ sound has progressed further into the modern era – the indie pop/Britpop feel is still there, but they’ve also included a lot of electronic elements. Older fans may be put off a little by this but I think it sounds great and bands have to move with the times. Wherever It Takes Us was another musical stand-out for me, with the song having something of a prog rock feel to it – it seems very dramatic at times, and I really enjoyed the different styles that James have added to their sound – it has quite a refreshing feel, both in terms of the music and the lyrical content.
All in all, All The Colours Of You is a great addition to James’ vast back catalogue and it’s an album that both old and new fans should love. It’s great to hear them tackling hard themes such as climate change and the covid pandemic in such a stylistic way and the more modern elements that they’ve added sound great, so make sure you check the album out when you can!