#TBT – James Bay – Chaos and the Calm

Okay, this isn’t much of a throwback considering this album came out last year.  However, my site didn’t exist at that time and I want to talk about how great this album is.  And I mean GREAT!!

James Bay is a shining light in today’s bubblegum pop crap that stinks up the radio.  He is the hope of the future of music.  The true talent of all the oversaturated one-hit wonders that music companies force-feed us on a daily basis.  Maybe I am overstating it a little, but the young man is talented.

I think what I am so excited about is the potential this young man has in his craft.  He is only 25 years old and you can see the talent and thinking about what he could create over the next 20 years makes me smile.  Now the music company doesn’t need to screw it up. They need to develop him as an artist and mold him a long & lasting career.  Don’t demand hits, give him the room to create them and grow as a musician.

James Bay hails from Britain and has been compared to Ed Sheeran and Ben Howard.  I can see that as they are all equally talented so not a bad comparison.   James is a singer/songwriter with a sound that covers blues, rock, pop and I think even a little folk.  I think that is why I like this album as it does combine a little of all those sounds.

He was nominated for a Grammy as Best New Artist; however, he lost to Meghan Trainor which I think is criminal. She is popular, but nothing of real substance.  I don’t mean to fault her, I just hate it is more a popularity contest than an award for actual artistry & musicianship.  James Bay’s songs tell great stories and have real meaning and feelings behind them.

The album opens with “Craving” a good rock song to start things off.  One of the more upbeat songs on the album.  There are a couple songs that lean more pop such as “Best Fake Smile” and “Get Out While You Can”.  That is not a bad thing as they are really good songs.  He really outdoes himself when he goes a little more bluesy with his style on songs such as “Scars”, “Collide”, “Hold Back the River” and the amazing song “Let It Go”.

“If You Ever Want to Be in Love” is a great song about past love and not waiting for the person to change their mind, but if they did he would give it another chance.  The piano on the song was a nice touch.  There are a couple songs that go a little flat for me, but overall it is a wonderful debut album.

I would love to see him concert.  He is coming to Charlotte but it sold out so fast I wasn’t able to get tickets.  Hopefully some will become available and not be too expensive.

Track Listing:

  1. Craving
  2. Hold Back the River
  3. Let it Go
  4. If You Ever Want to Be In Love
  5. Best Fake Smile
  6. When We Were on Fire
  7. Move Together
  8. Scars
  9. Collide
  10. Get Out While You Can
  11. Need the Sun to Break
  12. Incomplete

Here are a few videos for your viewing pleasure.  Give them a listen and see if he is someone you could enjoy.


4 thoughts on “#TBT – James Bay – Chaos and the Calm

  1. Nice, thoughtful review. Agree that James Bay is a very talented singer/songwriter who’s right up there with Ed Sheeran, who I really like. I also agree with your observation that it was criminal he lost to Meghan Trainor for Best New Artist Grammy. (I also think it was criminal Taylor Swift’s “1989” won best album over the other nominated albums, not to mention some that weren’t nominated, like Foals’ magnificent “What Went Down” or twenty one pilots’ incredible “Blurryface.”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Around my house, Taylor Swift is a Queen. I have 2 girls that adore her, so I know that album well. But yes, I don’t know if it was best album. I do know if I hear that album again any time soon my ears will probably start bleeding. No offense to her, but I hope she takes a break for awhile so my kids will forget about her for a little bit. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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