James Arthur continues successful music career with new album “You”

Gabe Israel, Staff Writer

James, let’s debrief for a moment about your new album. I appreciate the continuation of the acoustic pop tracks you are so renowned for. Often times as a result of major success, pressure from their label, or fear of redundancy, artists stray away from where their true style lies. Although you’ve clearly experimented with a variety of genres on your new album, your sappy, heart wrenching, and singer-songwriter style shined throughout the record.

 On 9 December 2012, British singer-songwriter James Arthur won the ninth series of the music competition series The X Factor. As the winner, he was signed to Simon Cowell’s record label Syco Music and released a cover of Shontelle’s 2010 single Impossible, which debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. Shortly afterwards, Arthur released his debut album titled James Arthur on 1 November 2013 by Syco Music. It featured hits such as “Impossible” and “You’re Nobody ‘till Somebody Loves You”. The album debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart and as of February 2017 had sold over 287,000 copies in the UK. 

Even more impressive than his first album is Arthur’s second studio album, Back from the Edge. It was released on 28 October 2016 by Columbia Records. This time around, the album reached number one on the UK Albums Chart and was even certified platinum. It featured heartfelt hits such as “Can I Be Him” and the world renowned “ Say You Won’t Let Go”, the song every sappy singer-songwriter wishes they had written. 

And now, three years later, we have Arthur’s most recent album, You, released on October 18th. “ You,” the album’s title track, was my first introduction to the album. I was immediately caught off guard with the track’s hip hop sound, as this is not the kind of James Arthur track I am used to hearing. I can’t say that I enjoyed it all that much. It sounds almost entirely computer generated and the lyrics lacked substance.

Thankfully, there are only about four other songs on the record that resemble the disappointing title track. The rest of the album beautifully reminds the listener of what James Arthur does best. He writes simplistic, stripped back and relatable songs almost anybody can identify with and find comfort in. Tracks like “ Car’s Outside”, “Quite Miss Home”, “Maybe”, “Homicide Love”, “Fall”, “Empty Space” and the best one of all, “Falling Like The Stars”, lyrically and musically encapsulate what Arthur does best. 

With the exception of a small handful of out of place tracks, You is yet another incredible album released by the British singer-songwriter.