Release Date: May 18, 2018
Record label: Republic
Haircut aside, James Bay's return was always going to be of interest. His rapid ascension from nobody to somebody via debut Chaos And The Calm meant his next move would have to be well thought out, and with Electric Light he meets all expectations, if not via any groundbreaking territory. Kicking off an album with cinematic narration signals a bold open, especially when it's such an evident scene setter.
You've got to tip your hat to James Bay: he's gone for a bold reinvention on album number two and has largely achieved it, even if he doesn't seem to know quite what he wants to reinvent himself as. The Hitchin singer-songwriter's 2015 debut 'The Chaos and the Calm' went straight to number one, thanks to its unchallenging acoustic ballads ('Hold Back the River' has become a wedding fave). He could have repeated the formula, but that's not what 'Electric Light' represents.
Hats off to James Bay. His 2015 debut, which went straight to number one, set expectations at an all-time high for the follow-up. 'Electric Light', however, seems to represent something else entirely. AlI over the place stylistically, Bay has weaved together a variety of extravagant differences ….