ALBUM REVIEW: James Bay - Chaos And The Calm

JAMES BAY ... Chaos And The Calm (Virgin EMI)
JAMES BAY ... Chaos And The Calm (Virgin EMI)

DON’T be fooled by the title - if chaos is what you’re after, there’s little point in dwelling on a James Bay article.

Unfortunately, there’s little calmness to be found here either, as the Brits Critics’ Choice winner’s debut is driven by an intense remit to shift as many units as possible.

Everything about him is carefully premeditated, from the vaguely emotive songs and lyrical cliches to the stone-faced expression and unintentionally hilarious hat (which, one can only assume, came as a clause in his contract).

The record itself does its job, delivering a succession of competent, reasonably pleasant ballads, albeit without distinguishing themselves or circumventing the clutches of blandness.

It’s a shame, as you sense there’s a semi-talented songwriter hiding beneath the headgear - but that spark has been snuffed out and homogenised by cutthroat commercial industry he’s been engulfed in. 5/10. AW