Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, Oct 26th, 2015

Nemo James: The Minstrel

nemoNemo James
The Minstrel
(Derek Newark)

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British singer/songwriter/guitarist Nemo James opens The Minstrel with the simple, flicking snare drum beat and acoustic, easy-listening picking of “Dreamer On the Run,” that gets all Pablo Cruise on the singable chorus. It’s a sweet opening from Nemo singing and playing everything other than drums here, which are left to Chuck Sabo. The title track here again has that picked acoustic with the spot-on patting drumming from Sabo (these two make a very good team). It’s a tune about how James is putting his art out there. We then certainly get a Jimmy Buffett feel on the character story song, “Forbidden Fruit.” The backing vocals here are especially fine. The blues funk of “Love In You Heart” is a sweet tune about keeping love where the title of the track suggests. It moves along at a lilting, fun pace and again the backing female vocals are well-placed in the chorus. This is one of James’ best vocals on The Minstrel. Again, we get some good movement on “I Hated What I Found,” another great story song with an easy beat and that sweet acoustic playing from James. Wondering where an ex might be is the subject of “Marie (Where Are You Now).” “Little Tin Box,” with its train beat snare and poppy piano running behind, doubling female vocals turns the tide in a song about James bemoaning having no more money. I loved this one, wry and quick as it is, the lyrics unlike lots of what went before it. Though the ballad “Rosemary and Time” (another story song about the past) ends the album, I feel “The Wheels Go ‘Round,” the second to last tune, is much stronger with its sweet melody and another great vocal from James.

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Nemo James: The Minstrel