The modern ethos of wanting everything for nothing has penetrated every industry, permeated into every pore of modern day life – including the music industry. One only need to look at the glut of reality tv shows to realise few want to earn their stripes with many more wanting them pinned on their arm instead.
Ceri James is not one of these though. Essentially touring and gigging with various bands across Europe from 1997 to 2007, James learnt his trade playing various genres of music – everything from retro R’n’B to Classic fifties and sixties rock n roll. Having never settled or found the right components for a band, James decided to go solo in 2008 with the release of his first solo album ‘Start & Begin’. Fast forward to 2012 and James has just launched his 3rd album, now available on Amazon.
‘The Lost Souls Parade’ is a self produced 12 track album, with an additional 2 bonus tracks which builds on and features all those influences from his formative years. The songs range from The Kinks inspired tracks (Into The Infinite) to the saxophone infused (Michelangelo’s Apostle) to acoustic numbers (Goddess On A Highway). It is clear from the outset that James is intent on exploring his musical influences in all their glory and certainly, the musicianship displayed throughout the album is of an excellent nature.
Whilst there is no disputing the album is a melting pot of difference influences, the talent displayed musically is sometimes not equalled by the song writing. Certainly James references culturally relevant issues (The Real Coffee Shop) but the over use of rhyming couplets sometimes only served to detract from the overall flow of the songs.
With some greater song writing maturity and maybe a more defined music genre, James could be one of the rarest of artists in the modern music industry – there having taken his lumps and paid his dues.
Words: Brian McKay