Monday, May 03, 2010

It's Hot

Song: It's Hot
Artist: James
Album: The Night Before

I was a big fan of Manchester band James who formed in the early 80's, but broke just as the "Madchester" scene was coming about and then really scored big with their Brian Eno produced 5th album "Laid," which actually did better on the charts here in America than it did in the U.K. I thought James had exactly two great albums, 1992's "Seven" and then the aforementioned "Laid" from the following year. I'd gotten their "experimental" follow-up to "Laid" "Wah Wah" which left me, and their audience, sort of cold.

The band had some personal struggles at the beginning of the new millennium and ended up disbanding in 2001. Lead singer Tim Booth put out a solo album in 2004, and after the release of a compilation album, the band announced in 2007 that they were getting together for some reunion shows, which eventually lead to new album "Hey Ma" from 2008. I don't think I heard that record... but have really been digging the first half of their two mini-albums releasing this year, April's "The Night Before," with "The Morning After" coming in August.

At just seven tracks it's a short and sweet work that immediately brings me back to what I dug about James some twenty years ago. Booth's beautifully distinctive voice, the whirling guitar, and shimmering melodies. If you were a fan and fell out with the band, check this out.


It's Hot

Dr. Hellier

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