North East Post
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
8:00 AM 12th June 2021

James - All The Colours Of You

Rather than taking the easy option and becoming an heritage act, Manchester band James continue to make and release new music. On this, their 16th album they continue to follow their own path.

The band got lumped in with the Madchester scene, though they had been around long before that. I saw the band supporting The Smiths at St George’s Hall in 1985 when Bradford born singer Tim Booth wore a memorable multi coloured jumper!

The band did return to the venue in the early 90’s to headline the venue when a fan set off the fire alarm - and all the ticketless fans outside the venue decided to join the gig when we were all allowed to go back in the venue.

James have always had an uplifting element to their songs, though on the album opener, ZERO, Booth offers the opening line that “We’re all gonna die”. This reflective track deals with our mortality as drum beat marks the passing of time. “We are ageing like time” he continues. Happy days!

The title track of the album, All The Colours of You is more joyous, more upbeat, and they use the bands palate of many colours to deliver their views about the Trump administration.

Recover talks about the death of Booth’s dad to Covid 19 “will he get better, will he recover in a ward all alone?” he asks on this poignant track.

Beautiful Beaches comes with a hook that sounds like it has come off a Coldplay song, though the lyric deals with climate change and the Californian forest fires last year - where Booth now resides.

Wherever It Takes You is more spoken word than actually singing though the chorus has that uplifting vibe that you get when the band are in a more upbeat mood.

Getting Myself Into could be the cousin to the band’s track Getting Away With It, “it’s half past midlife and I’m already half-past wrecked” sings Booth.

Magic Bus is James at their best on a track that will become a live favourite when they tour again; a bass driven melodic track that seems to continue the theme of mortality.

Whilst some of their peers might seem to be stuck in the slow lane, James continue to drive ahead on this colourful journey.

I rate the album 4 out of 5.