James Bay is not, as yet, the finished article; at twenty four years old how could he be?
With the evidence of his hotly anticipated debut album `Chaos and The Calm' now before us
it is patently apparent that he is The Whole Package. The Real Deal. The Husky's Gonads.
He writes superlatively good songs; plays guitar very well and has a "look" about him, if you
know what I mean, a sort-of hungry troubadour aura destined to break a heart or three and
although but a doughty son of Hitchin (pace Valerie Singleton!) he is clearly a World Class artist.
There are fifteen tracks on the "deluxe' edition and its worth having the extra three numbers.
(Frankly the beautiful `Running' is pretty much worth the price of the album on its own!)
You'll doubtless already be familiar with the singles `Hold Back The River' and `Let It Go'
(it's unlikely that I'll ever tire of listening to the former; it's a composition built to last!) but
there are many more delights in the set; not least of all the rumbustious opening salvo
`Craving' with that switchblade snare-beat nailing it to the mast and the wonderfully tender
`Moving Together' which shows off the full range of Mr Bay's wonderfully expressive voice.
If, however, I were forced to choose one number to save for a rainy day it would have to be the
perfectly beautiful `Incomplete'; a timeless composition sung with palpably authentic emotion.
Still at the very beginning of his career one can but wonder what treasures are yet to come!
Review by The Wolf