28 December 2005

Overlooked Albums from the 90's - #12

Seven by James

James could've been the UK's answer to R.E.M. Maybe some muddled vocals, a couple of college radio hits and videos and a song or ten that over-referenced pop culture and they'd have done it for sure...but they did alright for themselves anyway. I'll bet you've heard of this band because of their song "Laid" which was quite the 'alternative' radio/MTV hit back in 1994 (if you haven't, fear not) and I remember many people I knew back then got their album of the same name but probably didn't listen to it very much. The thing is, James' better album was the one released BEFORE they kinda hit it big here in the US.

The first mention I ever heard of this band was in some interview that Morrissey did where he claimed that his favorite current band was James. Like a good little disciple I ran out and got the only album I could find, this very one I'm writing about. I liked the first track or two but didn't really give the record much of a chance and shelved it. A year later, the song and album Laid came out and the previously mentioned mass interest ensued. This I was a part of (thank goodness) and I started listening to Laid a bunch and then realized I had this other album by James. Finally my sense of music kicked in and I gave the album Seven the kind of attention it deserves.

What you'll find in listening to this album is a band well in control of their sound and songwriting skills. It's full of grand arrangements and subtly right-on producing. Every song on here just soars. In fact, I went hang gliding in Kitty Hawk a few times and if I was going to do it again (with an iPod and in someplace like the rocky mountains where one can actually fly for extended amounts of time) I'd totally bring this album to be my hang gliding soundtrack.

Allmusic says:
"...a record that married the ambitious scope of the lyrics with a grand, anthemic feel. Horns give songs like the lead-off "Born of Frustration" and the surging "Sound" a certain majestic grandeur, sweeping without being overblown. Lead singer Tim Booth is in fine form, lending passion to the proceedings, yet maintaining an intimacy. They don't totally abandon the more jangly, folk elements of past albums; it's still there noticeably on tracks like the lovely "Don't Wait That Long" and the shimmering, sardonic "Next Lover." Other highlights include the dramatic "Ring the Bells" and the resolute title track, which is propelled by Andy Diagram's trumpet, Booth's assured vocals, and a thumping rhythm."

TrouserPress says:
"Seven refashions the septet into an English Simple Minds, spreading its wings across a grand polyrhythmic tableau in which everyone plays at once and nobody gets hurt. Against a surging model of dynamic textures in tautly controlled arrangements that employ the members' skills to the fullest, Booth keeps his singing dramatic but eloquent — more Liam Neeson than Charlton Heston, which serves to sharpen the vibrant music's focus. Whether topical ("Bring a Gun") or romantic ("Don't Wait That Long"), the lyrics are more considered and set lower in the mix, but the music's invigorating force is what makes the buoyant Seven James' first fully satisfying album."

I'd suggest this album to any fan of 80's or 90's college radio rock or fans of The Verve or even fans of U2 who like their more well known anthemic songs. Time for you to make up your own mind.

Listen to three songs from the album:
"Ring the Bells"
"Sound" (full version)
"Next Lover"

Previous Overlooked Albums from the 90's:
#1 - Saturnalia by The Wedding Present
#2 - The Inevitable by Squirrel Nut Zippers
#3 - This is Our Music by Galaxie 500
#4 - Dusk by The The
#5 - Fantasma by Cornelius
#6 - New Wave by The Auteurs
#7 - I, Jonathan by Jonathan Richman
#8 - Futureworld by Trans Am
#9 - Harmacy by Sebadoh
#10 - Cure For Pain by Morphine
#11 - God Fodder by Ned's Atomic Dustbin

if you'd like...
Pitchfork's top albums of the 90's
1st version of their list

Also, it appears another blog is onto this "Overlooked of the 90's" idea:
Top 30 'Other' Albums of the '90s

8 comments:

marshmellow_parade said...

Is Toto overlooked?

"...Down in Africa..."

Trevor Jackson said...

I loved this album when I was in high school, desperate for more Smiths albums.

Such great lyrics for the sad teenager trying to find something to bum about: "It's this living in-between that's bringing me down."

jay said...

what you'll find if you listen to more james is that they never bested their debut 'stutter.' but that's okay because 'stutter' was so weird and broken and loud and so amazingly phenomenal that it would have been pretty hard.

seven is a good james album and i've always felt like it had some of great songwriting but the sound is a little to 'arena-rock' and anthemic at times. i don't know. i love james and i have been a huge fan for a really long time. in spite of being the trendy pick in the US at least laid really is one of their best albums. that said, james was always more of a 'song' band than an 'album' band for me. their albums always worked as albums and they were unified, but they were always more about the songs than the albums.

anyways. i love to see james get some recog. every now and again, so thanks.

Anonymous said...

福~
「朵
語‧,最一件事,就。好,你西.................

kuso said...

牙醫,植牙,假牙|矯正|牙周病,牙醫診所植牙,紋身,刺青,創業,批發,TATTOO,皮膚科,痘痘,雷射脈衝光除斑,洗包包|洗鞋子|清洗包包,中醫,腫瘤,腎臟病,僵直性脊椎炎,飛梭雷射,肉毒桿菌,玻尿酸,痘痘,脈衝光,醫美,毛孔粗大,醫學美容,seo,關鍵字行銷,關鍵字自然排序,網路行銷,關鍵字自然排序,關鍵字行銷seo,關鍵字廣告,網路行銷,seo,關鍵字行銷,關鍵字廣告,關鍵字,自然排序,部落格行銷,網路行銷,網路爆紅,牛舌餅婚紗台中婚紗

Anonymous said...

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . H e l l o . . . N i c e . . . B l o g . . . P U S H . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Anonymous said...

酒店喝酒

酒店消費

喝花酒

粉味

酒店小姐



ktv酒店

台北酒店

酒店經紀找茵悅

酒店上班

酒店經紀

禮服酒店

酒店兼差

酒店打工


打工兼差

酒店

台北酒店經紀

酒店打

酒店正職

酒店類型

酒店午場

酒店規定

酒店行政

打工兼職

酒店藝名


酒店日保

freefun0616 said...

酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店經紀,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店工作,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
專業酒店經紀,
合法酒店經紀,
酒店暑假打工,
酒店寒假打工,
酒店經紀人,
菲梵酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,
禮服酒店上班,
酒店小姐兼職,
便服酒店工作,
酒店打工經紀,
制服酒店經紀,
酒店經紀,

,