James Arthur, a shooting star?

People who know me and follow me for a while know that I like James Arthur. I think he’s a brilliant artist.

I discovered James with his self-titled debut album. I couldn’t follow his journey live on XFactor. But thanks to Internet & YouTube, I could stay up-to-date.

His music, his voice, his natural way to communicate strong emotions to the public, his vulnerability and his strength spoke to me right away. The contrast with his build, his height and self-control over his body language makes the whole even more interesting.

I saw many talented people taking part in and winning talent shows. But it doesn’t guarantee them to have a career nor to last in the music industry.

Even if he’s talented – we can see it from his first audition – we could have doubts about his future in the industry for some reason : he doesn’t really correspond to what the music industry sells nowadays. James stands out. And that’s what I like the most.

Could he last in this industry? My answer is: Yes ! In my concern, with the recent release of his second album, there’s no doubt anymore.

James Arthur is not a shooting star. He’s here to stay.

Well, well, well ! Let’s move on to something more serious ! You’ll find below my comments about his work.

James Arthur (Self-titled debut album)

I can’t say very much about it as I didn’t keep up with it. As far as I know, the promo took place mostly in the UK which is not surprising according to the context. Despite this James did many interviews, appearances & live performances in different european countries.

Visual ID
The layout is built around the photos taken by The Wade Brothers. I really like the atmosphere of them. We can feel the torment, strength and vulnerability of James with a laid-back side as an extra. Even if having many photos is nice, it’s pity not having the lyrics and such a short thank-you message from James.

I don’t much to say about the layout which is simple. Not a lot of text. On the other hand, I wouldn’t have used the white outline on the front and last page of the booklet. I would have worked in full frame.

On the whole, the visual identity suits the musical universe of the album.

Some of my favourite songs
Get Down, Supposed, Suicide, Lie Down, Smoke Clouds, Flyin’

Back From The Edge

At the time I’m writing this, I think it is a bit too soon to tell as the promo is still going on. Anyway, a lot happens on social media notably thanks to James’ fanbase which is very supportive. It doesn’t mean his management doesn’t work, quite the contrary! James makes many appearances on TV, Radio and events mostly in the UK but he also travelled to Australia and New Zealand for the first time recently. He’s going in the USA in early 2017. He also went on a mini tour in the UK this month and other dates are planned in March 2017.

Visual ID
Contrary to the first album, there are less photos but more texts. The layout is good, simple and efficient. The typography is modern, neither to bold nor too thin, easy to read.

About the photos, they’re not my favourites. We find a more mature young man but guilt, embarassment and discomfort emerge way too much in my opinion. It would have been nice to have some photos of him being more carefree, spontaneous and smiling.

We know this album speaks mostly of the rough things James faced up in the last couple of years. But we also have tracks showing other sides of him : silliness with Sober, romanticism with Say You Won’t Let Go, gentleness with Safe Inside, etc. That’s a shame that we don’t see these sides visually.

The worst is the cover tho… It looks like a mug shot ! And the shadow, whyyy ? The last thing missing here is « I’m guilty » written on his forehead. Did someone threaten him with a gun during the photoshoot ? lol Joking aside, the photos are not bad. They just do not show every aspect of the album and that’s a pity.

Some of my favourite songs
Train Wreck, I Am, Remember Who I Was, Sermon, Skeletons (bonus track), If Only (bonus track)

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