James – Girl at the End of the World Album Review
James are not the most ‘out there’ of the rock bands this country has produced, and they never really were, but they’re still making a living out of music 20 years after they released their debut album ‘Stutter’, so they must be doing something right. This is as polished and competent as any album they’ve ever done, but I can’t help hearing a traitorous voice in my head whispering – isn’t there something else you’d rather listen to? Perhaps it’s just me. I’ve never been one for treading the same old path, and whilst I’m sure James have their cohort of devoted fans, this isn’t going to bring me into the fold, or, I suspect, anyone else. Back in their Factory Records days, they were the ‘go-to’ band for producers of shows like TFI Friday, and they were genuinely exciting and full of the spirit of the time, but it’s not the Eighties, and I have to say I was a bit bored. I searched for a track to match those heady days of ‘Sit Down’ and ‘She’s a Star’ but it wasn’t happening. They’ve made the transition, as most long-serving bands tend to, from a ‘singles band’ to an ‘album band’. Perhaps that’s all they can hope for these days, along with selling those all important live concert tickets to anyone keen to relive their younger days.