James Atkin is back with a second solo album. Overall the album is very electronic
with added guitars and female backing vocals (Rach Atkin from Beauty School, I believe).
The album starts off with a nice beat in poptastic song "vagabonds", and you can hear the great production in the sound. "Come Together now" gets straight into the bassline and it's a great one. There's an airy synth in there that takes you back to the early 90's, no bad thing. "Never say never" could sit easily in a laid back night club when you just want to kick back and relax. My favourate track on the album is easily "only humans cry", it starts off a little bit stripped back and builds up to more layers. The hook is so catchy, the fish on the album cover is swimming for cover. This is easily one of the best songs I've heard this year. It's not only catchy but has synths that just blow me away, especially about 3 minutes in. Fantastic stuff.
Then "Role Reversal" comes on. With a guitar melody that The Cure would be proud of, it makes the
song. Another hair raising goosepimple delight. The beat just before the chorus is really fun too.
"Intentions" has the sort of fun basic synths I like using in my own songs. It's quite an
uplifting song, and the chorus is lovely and sweet! "California Dreaming On" has some artificial
violins but they work here, blending into the mix. The song really gets into it's groove about
halfway through with a spike of extra energy. The chorus is nothing to shout home about, however.
"Disco Damage" doesn't really do a lot for me, and is the weakest track on the album for me.
"I hear you" has some good guitars and a relentless chorus! Finally, "Theory of Relativity"
is quite a darker track, and has some distorted sounds that work really well, plus a little
bit of piano thrown in for good measure, and finishes the album off in good style.
James should be proud of himself, this is an essential album for fans of EMF or electronic music.
-Matt Barker 2016