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James - 'Yummy' Album Review


1. Is This Love

2. Life Is A Fucking Miracle

3. Better With You

4. Stay

5. Shadow Of A Giant

6. Way Over Your Head

7. Mobile God

8. Our World

9. Rogue

10. Hey

11. Butterfly

12. Folks

James are about to release their 18th studio album (18, how did that happen, they are a band of my youth!) called 'Yummy' on the 12th of April.

Its very much in the James vein, it’s clear that some tracks have been worked up from the extended jams that James often use as part of their song writing process, but others feel more focussed like the idea for the song came first followed by the music.

It’s an album drenched in strings, very much in keeping with their recent orchestral tour, but also, I think, one of their mellowest records for some time.

Don’t get me wrong, James can still build a crescendo in a way that makes many other bands jealous but there is also a maturity to some of the songs on this album, a feeling of maturity and contentment. It’s like Tim Booth and the band are at peace with their place in the world and determined to make the best music they can while the muse is upon them.

What’s always been great about James’s music is the layers it contains; you think you get a song on the first listen, but the next listen reveals something you didn’t pick up on and the next listen reveals more ad infinitum! The lyrics are amongst some of the most potent that James have written in a long time and at times this album soars to the sky while continuously returning to the ground to earth itself again. It encompasses all the facets of James as a band, and I think Tim has delivered some of his best singing in years.

This album deals in a number of issues, how to navigate romantic entanglements, check, worried about over profiteering by some global organisations, check, worried you’re getting old, check. What’s best about these songs though is that James are not claiming to have all of the answers, they are not holding themselves up as some sort of sages who can solve all of your, and the worlds, problems. What they do brilliantly though is give you comfort, put an arm around you shoulder and try to persuade you that everything is going to be all right. They may be wrong, they may be right, but they clearly care, and they want you to feel that warmth, that concern, that compassion.

One new element to add to James cannon is the introduction of more prominent female backing vocals, courtesy of Chole Alper. It adds something and takes this above some other James records.

All in all, this is a great record, one of the better in what has recently been a series of outstanding new music from James. Many of their contemporaries stopped trying years ago, James just get better and better!

They are out on tour again this year, as one of the best live acts out there you really should buy or download this album, get yourself a ticket for one of their gigs and accept it, James bring the love and warmth in a cold and cruel world.

Website -

Review - Iain McClay

1 Comment

Jason Misner
Jason Misner
7 days ago

This album is poetically stellar! A band that continues to show their love of music, maintains their ingenious sound yet giving us a new sound, with such clarity and full balls. Well done James! Don’t stop, for the love of God, don’t stop!

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