413. James – “Gold Mother”

Note to self – check vinyl collection more regularly.  Here’s one that should have been reviewed before Etta.

Another dalliance from my NME-reading years was this brief flirtation with the mop-haired British band James.

This record is the 1991 version of their third album, including their hugest song, the very stadium-friendly Sit Down:

That tune has always worked for me, although as a guilty pleasure, in that it is the aural equivalent of a rom-com.  It is manipulative and cheesy, but I involuntarily can’t avert my eyes/ears. The drums are over-amped (and over-echoed), while the chorus and sentiment shouldn’t be scrutinised too closely.

These guys are much more like Simple Minds or Flock of Seagulls (that’s a bad thing!) than the tastemakers at NME were willing to acknowledge.  Sit Down is the least pompous and over-produced track on here.  Much of the material says the band sounding even more U2-like in their pontificating and art-school posturing.

The only really joy of doing this review is discovering from the vid above that lead singer Tim Booth could be Mats Wilander’s doppelgänger… and hoping that whoever was blowing that plastic horn intermittently through the performance subsequently suffered some debilitating and drawn-out toxic reaction to said plastic.

File under: Bad parenting

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