David’s certainly not going to back away from a review of James Arthur’s new album ‘Back From The Edge’.
Redemption. That is the word that describes what this means to James Arthur’s career. Disgraced and dropped by his label only two years ago, he’s enjoyed a bit of a hero’s return, with lead single “Say You Won’t Let Go” topping the charts in the UK, Australia and several other countries.
Surprised? I certainly was.
James has talent aplenty with an emotive voice and a believability that would make many ‘X Factor’ entrants quiver in their boots.
This was evident with his winners single ‘Impossible’ that made major radio and chart impact all over the world, including right here in Australia. So how would he go trying to get his second album off the ground after everything that’s happened?
He’s done an impeccable job with ‘Back From The Edge’. This album is one that has broad appeal for its range of tracks but also how deeply personal the lyrics are.
It’s obvious that everything that has unravelled him has been channeled into creating beautiful, if not slightly sad, stories.
On ‘Train Wreck’, he shares just how much he’s been through. He pleads for help to pull him out of the train wreck and states “I’m not ready to die yet.” This powerful performance could be seen as a cry for help, but it’s evident pulling this story from within himself is what has saved him. It’s one of my favourite performances on the album.
What I think James has done so well with here is create songs that people want to hear. We want to hear about struggles, about love, about wanting to be there for someone and it’s this commonality that people buy into.
On ‘Let Me Love The Lonely’, he’s pleading to help out someone he cares about, but you have to wonder if it’s also to help him get through the pain and struggles of his life.
I can’t think of any other way to describe this album other than it is raw. And this is a very good thing for James. He’s at his best when we can see he’s just one of us from suburbia experiencing the same challenges we all face.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : Train Wreck, Let Me Love The Lonely, Finally, Prisoner, Skeletons.