James Bay struck it big with his debut album. It was full of charming, albeit non-challenging, songs that anybody and everybody could gravitate towards. He was like the antithesis of say an Ed Sheeran, with his folky rock tunes, but for his follow-up, Electric Light, he’s taken things in a decidedly more mainstream pop direction. Even going so far as drastically changing his look more in line with the Zayns and Harry Styles of the world. And just like his look, his sound has gotten far more sensual and seductive with clear influences from R&B that give his sound a bit more ‘edge.’ It’s always a bit cringeworthy to see pop artists go through this now inevitable transformation but his transformation actually feels earned, and while the album is more poppy than before, there are still large chunks of the sound and identity he crafted the first go around present here. Evolving and progressing your sound is always a tricky affair but James has been able to pull it off ‘almost’ flawlessly – giving his core fans what they fell in love with in the first place while boldly pushing into a new audience and direction without it feeling forced or gimmicky.
After the wreckage
After the dust
I still hear the howling, I still feel the rush
Over the riots, above all the noise
Through all the worry, I still hear your voice
Have you heard Electric Light? What’d you think about it? Do you like the more pop and R&B influences he fused into his music? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to leave your own ratings and reactions for the album.