La Petite Mort

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Score
5.00
The gist Just to make you feel old, James are still here, 28 years after releasing their debut. The music James have thoroughly won me over on the two occasions that I've caught them live in the past couple of years. I've been surprised by how well the old tunes stand up and how the new ones they've snook in haven't been awful. Some of those new tunes have made it onto the slightly pompously titled La Petite Mort, but unfortunately much of the energy that gets injected during the live shows is lacking here. There are some peculiar quirks to the record, Tim Booth tries out a few different vocal styles, there's a liberal dose of dodgy lyrics and there are some surprisingly tinny/anthemic keys which don't seem to fit into any particular era of dance music. As is per usual with James this is not striaght forward indie-by-numbers, but at the same time its not another Wah Wah. A solid, if unremarkable return. Listen to "Walk Like You" - the album's opening gambit, which is also its peak. Even though Tim Booth's opening lines sound slightly off key and some of the lyrics ("boobydoo"??) are a bit dodgy, it's still kind of endearing. The energy builds to a crashing finale with violin and familiar sounding trumpet in what will certainly be a new highlight at James' ever popular live shows. Listen if... you are a James enthusiast

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