Monday, October 9, 2006

Spotlight On: Andrew James

Andrew James is a singer and songwriter—but the term “singer/songwriter” does not do him justice. The British tunesmith has more of a rock edge than we normally associate with the singer/songwriter subgenre, but his pop-friendly hooks and graceful piano work keep the songs grounded. While his extremely talented supporting players rock behind him, he lets loose with rich, soulful vocals that glide across his sweeping melodies. He has an impressive vocal range, effortlessly switching from a smooth falsetto to a full-bodied baritone. When he makes a vocal downward swoop, as on the chorus of “Scared To Fall Down,” he takes you down the spiral staircase with him. James’ songs paint a picture of a man who has fought personal demons, doomed relationships, and an utter lack of control over the state of his world—yet he has overcome all of those things and finally found salvation. The lyrics are sometimes loaded with multiple meanings. Is “I Can’t Fight” about drug addiction, alcoholism, or unrequited love? One could simply ask him, but part of the song’s appeal is that it leaves the listener guessing. And with beguiling couplings like “Feel like I could lie undetected/Feel like I could die unprotected” (from “Safe As Houses”), James is sure to pull you into his world and keep you in his grasp until he’s sure you’ve got his message. At first listen he may remind you of David Gray, but it soon becomes clear that Andrew James is a talent all his own. Don’t miss out on him.

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Copyright © 2006 S.J. Dibai. All rights reserved.

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