Yorkshire Times
A Voice of the Free Press
Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
7:36 AM 10th February 2024

Albums: James Arthur – Bitter Sweet Love

James Arthur – Bitter Sweet Love

Bitter Sweet Love; Free Falling; Sleepwalking; Blindside; Just Us; Comeback Kid; From The Jump; A Year Ago; Ruthless; New Generation; My Favourite Pill; Is It Alight?; Homecoming

(COLUMBIA): 19658841111

Since winning the X Factor in 2012, Middlesbrough artist James Arthur has gone on to release a set of successful albums. When some former winners of the TV talent programme have faded into obscurity or become resigned to starring in pantomimes, Arthur delivers his fifth studio album, Bitter Sweet Love.

His career has been built on performing emotional soul-baring ballads, something that continues throughout his new album. What sets Arthur apart from his peers is the emotional delivery in his voice, which makes the listener feel and believe what he is singing as he braves his soul.

The formula has kept Arthur in the spotlight which looks set to shine with this gritty, emotional, and honest album. The opening track, A Year Ago, sets up the pace of the album, building up into a crescendo, as most of his songs do.

Just when you wish that he would tackle something a little more upbeat, Arthur obliges with New Generation and My Favourite Pill, the former about mental health caused during the Coronavirus pandemic.

There is nothing new musically on the album; his fans know what to expect, and Arthur does not disappoint here. For every radio-friendly song, there is a spine-tingling ballad to keep the faithful happy.

The title track of the album is one of his best tracks to date being memorable, instantaneous and is destined to become a hit song, should it be released as a single.

By taking things back to basics on the album, Arthur has assured his place at the top of the album charts with a set of raw and emotional songs.