Its been six years since we last had a new album from Manchester indie band James, in 2010 the band released two mini albums…The Night Before and The Morning After…June 2nd 2014 see’s the release of their 13th studio album ‘La Petit Mort’ produced by acclaimed producer Max Dingel (Killers,Muse and White lies) and return to a more traditional album format.‘La Petite Mort’ was recorded in the wake of Tim Booth losing his mother and best friend in quick succession and understandably many of the songs deal with mortality, hence the album title. However, ‘La Petite Mort’, is an incredibly uplifting record.
Formed in 1982 and were active throughout the 1980s, but most successful during the 1990s. Their hit singles include “Come Home”, “Sit Down”, and “She’s a Star” as well as their American college radio hit “Laid.”Following the departure of lead singer Tim Booth in 2001, the band became inactive but re-formed in January 2007, returning for a new album and international tour. Up to 2010, the band had sold more than 25 million albums worldwide.
Opening track ‘ Walk Like You’ starts fairly low key building to a crescendo of fiddles and James trademark Andy Diagram trumpet….This makes way for a complete departure and a Ministry of Sound Trance style ‘Curse Curse’ which has some pretty cool lyrics “Messi shoots and scores …100,000k” This track took a couple plays buts is now an album highlight!!
‘Moving On’ is the current single and features one of the best and moving videos I’ve seen for a long time also a top track…. ‘Frozen Britain’ is a classic James composition full of highs and lows and illustrates some amazing writing from Booth with superb hooks. A couple of less strong tracks ‘Interrogation’ and ‘Bitter Virtue’ take us to ‘All In My Mind’ again with some amazing lyrics “Bring Out Your Dead, Dead Don’t Stay Dead” ….this is another grower not as immediate as ‘Moving On’ and ‘Gone Baby Gone’ but once its in your head it stays there.
The closing track ‘All Im Saying’ is like a fair part of the album a slow starter but quickly reaches the highs in typical James style with Booth repeating the lyrics over and over to make sure they get into your head…and they do!
La Petite Mort is a pretty impressive piece of work with on first listen with ‘Curse Curse’ and ‘Moving On’ being the stand out tracks but after a few visitations ‘Frozen Britain’ and ‘All Im Saying’ come the fore….
La Petite Mort is released on June 2nd with a tour to follow in November….This album is a touching soul seeking piece of work and obviously very personal to Tim Booth but demonstrates perfectly that James are still current and able to produce wonderful progressive music, go and buy it its pretty damn good.
- Walk Like You
- Curse Curse
- Moving On
- Gone Baby Gone
- Frozen Britain
- Bitter Virtue
- All In My Mind
- Quicken The Dead
- All I’m Saying