Music

Album Review: James Arthur – “Back from the Edge”

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Credit: ‘Columbia Records’

An album clearly born out of his struggles prior, James Arthur’s “Back from the Edge” is a truly emotional musical account of his thoughts and feelings.

Simply, if you liked his debut album, you’re going to love his latest offers and if you hated him before, there’s a slither of a chance that this release will change your opinion of the Impossible single.

The opening track off the album, also named Back from the Edge, is of similar style to Arthur’s previous songs but his vocals sound much more relaxed.

By the time you get to the eighth track, it’s abundantly clear what the message is; James has been through a great deal of trials since his 2013 release of his eponymously titled debut album.

At times, Arthur can sound like a more edgy version of Ed Sheeran and this isn’t any more true than on “If Only” (which is only available on the deluxe version of the album) – have a listen for yourself below.

Not every song on the album is depressing and about James’ struggles over the last couple of years; Sermon, a song featuring Manchester rapper Shotty Horroh – who, by the way, is more out of place than Rizzle Kicks at the UK music charts – is much more up-beat track.

It seems Sermon, or “Serm-uh-uh-uh-uhn” as Arthur would sing it, is a touching song about a love interest and the lyrics “these are my words, this is my voice, that is my sermon. Give me your heart, give me your pain, give me your burden,” are somewhat poetic.

My picks from the album would have to be, obviously, the lead single as it is a true hit, “Who I was”, “Finally”, “The Truth” and the aforementioned Sermon.

All of the best songs on the album have a similar message; they’re about his redemption and all of the pain he has been through – and caused – since rising to stardom. This shows the emotion behind the songs and, indeed, the entire album.

To conclude, the entire album is mainly about his past struggles, rise back to the top and, now that he’s back to where he wants to be, he’s doing the best he can. Who I Was, Finally and The Truth (my picks) are all very emotive songs and Arthur’s voice suits the style perfectly.

If you listen to Finally, more specifically, you can hear the emotion behind the track; James Arthur is now in a position where he can make his parents proud.

★★★★☆

This article will also be published on readmusic.co and blastingnews.com.

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