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9 out of 10
I was a little bit worried about listening to this mini-album. I mean, James were one of the bands that I'd grown up listening to and anyway, everyone knows that after a comeback a band can never recapture what made them so great. Just look at Echo and The Bunnymen.
Luckily, The Night Before delivers. It’s the first of two mini-albums to be released this year and normally, if a band announced that they were releasing 14 tracks over the space of two records, I'd be questioning their motives. Listening to this CD though, any cynicism is washed away by the sheer force of the music. It's as if they’d never been away. Every single track is an enormous, anthemic statement. Tim Booth’s lyrics, as always, are deeply personal, but at the same time perfect sing-alongs.
James have a heavy year of touring ahead of them and these songs are going to sit perfectly next to their older material. Unfortunately it’s pretty likely that The Night Before is going to go unnoticed. Please, do your bit for musical history; listen to this record before it’s resigned to ’hidden gem’ status.
1. It’s Hot
3. Ten Below
6. Dr Hellier