Wednesday, 6 March 2013

José James- No Beginning, No End


Laid back, groovy and soulful, this latest release from José James shows the continuation of the musical journey begun on his previous albums Black Magic and The Dreamer. The opening track, “It’s All Over (Your Body)” starts the album in exactly the way it goes on, with an unusual off beat rhythm and an overall laid back grooviness.

Other stand-out tracks include the much more pop-influenced “Heaven On The Ground”, which features the vocal and acoustic guitar stylings of Emily King, the addition of her to the group creates an interesting, more accessible take on José James’ music.

Being attached to the Blue Note Record Label means that José James is affiliating himself with the long line of Jazz classics which were released them, whilst simultaneously keeping one foot in the modern camp. This music mixes soulful Jazz melodies, allusions to hip hop influences, and a completely groovy feel.

Much of the music on the album is immensely relaxed. Creating a sophisticated mood; infusing Jazz beats with soulful melodies.

The music manages to retain the feel of classic Jazz acts who's influences can be heard throughout the album, with a large dose of soul and gospel thrown in for good measure. James is definitely an act who keeps one eye on the past, whilst remaining up to date with his more urban vocal style. 

The overall album is a great, “Cool” album, remaining current without being obtrusive, stylish and sophisticated, José James knows how to pen a soulful groove, and how to keep them coming.

7/10