Showing posts with label james bay. Show all posts
Showing posts with label james bay. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 9, 2016 (VIDEO)

Yeah, it's here early, mostly because it was pretty easy to put together for once - yay!

So next up, the fifty best songs of the year, so stay tuned!

billboard BREAKDOWN - hot 100 - january 9, 2016

So here's the thing about the Billboard Hot 100 around the holidays - it's basically a crapshoot. We're right after Christmas, most people are still in the regular holiday torpor and don't give a damn about new music, or are still partying in the lead-up to New Year's, which means that the 'hits' that can cater to that impulse are given one last shot on the radio. As for artists, it means that any act dropping a record right now can net a quick buck simply because there's little to no competition beyond late album singles. And the only artist who tried to leverage this dead zone, the one so many of you have asked me to cover... yep, it's Chris Brown. Wow, not a good sign.

Monday, December 14, 2015

video review: 'chaos and the calm' by james bay

Ugh, man, I wanted this to be a lot better - and yet writing it took so much that I couldn't get out the second review I wanted to today. We'll see if I cover - only a decent album there too...

Regardless, next up is a new episode of Billboard BREAKDOWN, so stay tuned!

album review: 'chaos and the calm' by james bay

So while we're on the subject of Grammy nominations, let's discuss a record that I'm certain some of you are baffled that I didn't tackle nine months ago - because on the surface, the pitch for it would be right up my alley. And frankly, the more I think about it, the more I'm surprised I didn't discuss the debut album from James Bay, English singer-songwriter who drenched his recordings in a blend of Nashville Americana and soul and English folk. He didn't exactly make a critical splash, but he quickly established himself as a charting success, especially in the U.K.

And believe it or not, but I've actually talked about this liquid-voiced singer before, on Billboard BREAKDOWN. More specifically, on the list of acts who were charting hits in Canada, but hadn't yet broken through in the U.S., and in this case it was easy to see why. Up here, we never really lost a workable rock scene, and that meant that indie folk developed a sizeable foothold up here. But really, James Bay's appeal is much simpler than even that: if you were looking for an acoustic singer-songwriter that played to a similar sound as Ed Sheeran but pushed the folk, country and rock sides more than pop, hip-hop, or R&B, James Bay was the artist you wanted. And yet for as much as he was very listenable, he's never really been an artist I've been inclined to explore in detail. Maybe I wasn't wild about how polished his sound seemed, maybe I wasn't as moved by his songwriting as so many others were, but until now, I hadn't really cared to dig deeper.

But apparently the Grammys disagreed, because James Bay is now up for three awards, mostly in the rock category plus Best New Artist. And frankly, I'd hesitate to say he's the frontrunner for any of the categories, either by popular consensus or my own preferences. But to be fair, he's also nominated for Best Rock Album and I haven't covered this record in detail yet - and at the very least, he should be better than Muse or Slipknot, right?