Feel Your Pain – Russell James (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

This latest album from Russell James is a deft and delicate waltz around the edges of many genres, never committing fully to any one in particular and staying only long enough to pick up the required sonic ingredients. As such you find that it is an album peppered with folky authenticity, indie cool, pop infectiousness, alt-country smarts and rock drive, often within the same song.

And the icing on the musical cake is the poise and polish that he gives his creations, sometimes taking the form of shimmering frameworks and chiming inclusions, such as on Tremors of War, occasionally it takes the form of merely allowing space and the natural atmospherics found within to naturally pool and percolate in a perfect expression of the less is more concept. And then sometimes such a process is used to weave synth-fuelled gorgeousness and dreamlike qualities through the song, something that is done so well on opener History of Crime.

A fine collection of well-executed songs and, for all his stylistic wandering and effortless genre-hopping, there is a consistency that comes from a combination of skill and the artists own personality which makes the music recognisably his own.

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