Kris James looks onwards and upwards on his debut release, which sees him reflect on past mistakes and missteps with newfound hindsight. The result is a humble album which pitches James as a popstar to watch out for. 

 

Kris James is, by now, an absolute expert at hiding emotionally complex themes and boundless authenticity in catchy pop songs. In the past, themes of toxic masculinity, anxiety, and honesty in romance have peppered James’ uniquely sophisticated hooks and harmonies – ensuring that we have something to dance to and think about at the same time. 

 

Highlights include the circular lyrical theme on ‘9 Lives’, something which ensures the love story comes across as inevitable, and doomed to fail. ‘Eyes Open’ is a powerful and emotive number about looking forwards after getting over a difficult breakup. Lyrically the album sounds mature and unique, refusing to comply to the expectations of a commercial pop star.

 

His approach to album-writing is also refreshingly sincere. “When I pick up an album, I want to love the whole thing, not just tracks one, four and eight. My mindset whilst writing was that if this proves to be the last thing I ever release, I want it to be a definitive statement; to be the best it can be.” True to form, Kris James has no fodder. It perfectly captures James as an artist, a songwriter and, above all, a person – someone who has a story to tell.