Album Review: James Bay – Chaos And The Calm

Editor's Review

Summary

An album positive to live up to and well beyond its hype and expectations.

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‘Chaos and the Calm’ is the highly anticipated début album from one of the UK’s most promising faces in music, James Bay.

 

Following his achievement of being this year’s Brits Critics Choice Award winner, James Bay is only on the up, and with the forthcoming album set for release on March 23rd, it’s about to get even more hectic for the songster.

 

The powerfully upbeat number ‘Craving’ gives the album a perfect introduction to the guitar-driven sound that Bay perfects. A track that screams promise for live shows and festival stages.

 

Best Fake Smile’ encapsulates a contagiously catchy chorus and edgy guitar riffs making it a sure stand out on the record.

 

The more familiar tracks such as ‘If You Ever Want To Be In Love’, and ‘Let It Go’ take the tone down to a less edgy, smoother blend of rock/pop before picking back up for successful single ‘Hold Back The River’.

 

Reflecting the older acoustic centred sound of James Bay is the likes of ‘Move Together’, gripped by gentle acoustic strumming and emotive lyrics.

 

Collide’ is potentially the bravest track on the album. The bolder side of Bay’s sound pumping electric guitar bursts and punchy vocals. This and ‘Get Out While You Can’ take the album back to its animated state, the latter running along the same theme as opening track ‘Craving’.

“I really strongly felt like I belonged somewhere else, so that song is directly about needing to get away.”

– James Bay

 

The album is concluded by the more stripped back ‘Need The Sun To Break’ and ‘Incomplete’. ‘Incomplete’ is the most poignant track on the album. Riding on delicate acoustics, the track is executed with raw emotion, beautifully crafted lyrics and a moving melody.

 

An impeccable début album, set to live up to, and well beyond its hype and expectations.

 

‘Chaos and the Calm’ drops on March 23rd. 

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