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Design By Humans
Published On: Mon, May 9th, 2016

James: Girl at the End of the World

jamesJames
Girl at the End of the World
(BMG)

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It seems that now more than ever, the survivors of Britpop are coming to save us from dull music with some solid guitar rock. With decades of experience, more than LPs and millions of sales beneath their belts, James have followed up 2014’s La Petite Mort with the clever, insightful Girl at the End of the World. “My life is rich and full, so why’d I bitch bitch bitch bitch bitch?” Coming straight out of the gate with heavy bass and jangly guitar is a risky move, but “Bitch” is such a self-aware, bombastic tune that you can’t help but love James for going there. This leads into the spiky, distorted “To My Surprise,” a catchy, defiant track that asks, “Were you just born an asshole?” There’s a clever callback to this on the synth-tinged “Catapult” when frontman Tim Booth states “I was born an asshole.” It’s this attention to detail that makes this an album rather than a collection of songs. Though the band is obviously comfortable in the rock realm, there are a few more experimental tracks as well. “Attention” begins with a beautiful piano riff, but as the track progresses and “altered states” are mentioned, electronic elements build up to make this sound like a frantic dance song. “Alvin” also stands out for being almost entirely in French. This is clearly the sound of a band who got back together for the love of the music rather than fan service.

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James: Girl at the End of the World