Jeffrey James’ voice contains the same sway and swoony-silkiness like Motown greats The Temptations. The tone and pitch resonates as beautifully as current music stars like John Legend and The Black Keys. James’ vocal talents and ability to create a catchy hook makes him an artist ready to take on the music industry with full force.
For the last three years, James toured colleges, clubs, and festivals, even opening for Hanson and Rooney. He won the 2011 Vanderbilt University’s Rites of Spring Contest, which resulted in him sharing the stage with Sara Bareilles, The National and Public Enemy. James just released his I’m Wide Awake EP; it includes seven tracks.
Most of his seven tracks incite groovy, soulful beats. While listening to them, you’ll dance and shout the lyrics; they’re that mesmerizing. The “Bad Woman” creates seduction with James’ vocals, the song’s message and the accompanying band and singers. The song easily could transition from independent single to marketable pop track. “Bad Woman” could appear in the next song used in a car commercial, or a scene on a network TV program or a blockbuster movie. “Stayin Alive” allows James to show his creativity with the music arrangement and doing a more stripped version of the disco anthem by the Bee Gees. “All I Need is You” gives him the opportunity to exemplify his vocal range and variety with a ballad that chills and captures the heart.
The only, slight, criticism with the I’m Wide Awake EP is that the album could connect more with people if each song contained more lyrical variety. Constant repetition of the chorus is how many popular songs succeed, but when you have a talent like James, you can create both catchy tunes and thought-provoking lyrics.
James’ I’m Wide Awake EP manages to create a short, but profound, demonstration of the powerful talent of a future musical star.
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