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Graham Clark
Music Features Writer
@Maxximum23Clark
1:00 AM 13th April 2024
arts
Review

Albums: James Yummy

 
James Yummy

Is This Love; Life’s A Fucking Miracle; Better with You; Stay; Shadow Of A Giant; Way Over Your Head; Mobile God; Our World; Rogue; Hey; Butterfly; Folks

Virgin NPLM3LPX

While many of their peers are stuck in a rut and reliving past glories, James continues to evolve and record new material, always pushing the boundaries. That journey continues with Yummy, the band's eighteenth studio album, as the group delivers twelve strong songs that will entertain, challenge, and enthral their loyal fans, yet at the same time invites the casual listener to discover one of Britain’s most underrated acts.

The lead single from the album, Is This Love, opens this strong and stellar set of new songs. Questioning the meaning of love, the track is James firing on all cylinders, sounding fresh and invigorating with a joyful aplomb. Producer Leo Abrahams, who has previously worked with Jarvis Cocker and Imogen Heap, has given the album a lush instrumentation with the subtle twist of Chloe Alper’s backing vocals.

The title Life’s a Fucking Miracle might not be too appealing; however, the track certainly is unlikely to get played on the radio. The cheerful song celebrates the joy of life, unity, and appreciating what we have. Sure to become a live favourite, it engages and draws the listener in to what is one of the standout tracks on this accomplished album, with singer Tim Booth in celebratory form.

Contrastingly, Shadows of a Giant comes with an almost gospel-like chorus, no doubt inspired by James’ work with the Manchester Inspirational Voices Gospel Choir.

Mobile God explores our fixation with mobile phones and how they control our lives. “I’m the last thing you stroke in the evening before bed; I’m the lover you touch in the morning,” Booth sings. Fans of the band will remember that Booth often encourages them to put down their mobile phones during their gigs, emphasizing the importance of living in the moment.

The band is well known for its environmental credentials, a subject tackled here on Our World a song detailing the damage that humans are inflicting upon the planet.

Concluding with Folks, the track provides, as with most of James’s tracks, food for thought. Highlighting the fact that we are all getting older, Booth sings that "folks, it's time to go; death’s a fixture." A sombre note to finish this compelling album.

Refusing to comply and always treading their own path, James has delivered an album to be proud of. Never standing still and always evolving, this is James at their very best.