The first track entitled “Mornin’ Sun” on inanimate objects by Samuel James is comparable to ingesting some Xanax along with three glasses of wine. The music almost feels slowed down and calming. James put some type of modulation on his voice and barely puts any strain on his vocal delivery. That coupled with warm electric piano and bass and you have some sort of synth pop concoction that happens to be one of the highlights on the album.
The next track “Exactly” starts off in a similar vibe as the first song buts get more energy as it progresses. You are initially greeted with fuzzy synths, bass, some percussion and James singing, “Everything is exactly as it should be.” It’s a solid song and James layers a number of percussive elements that act as additional ear candy against the vocals. His vocals also get more dynamic towards the second half of the song. Next up is “the mirror” which contains an emotionally resonant vocal performance and another example of the unique layering he implements into the song. One thing I started to notice at this point was there were instances where his vocals seemed too soft or entire sections seemed too loud.
This is a relatively minor issue that could have been resolved by compression techniques as well as riding faders. Either way it is something that while innocuous in some aspects is a difference that often separates recordings professional studios from DIY home studio projects.
“Hard to Find” contains the most upbeat energy yet with a fast moving dirty bass and percussion. On “Melody” forget about Xanax and wine. This song sounds like you ingested Quaaludes. The drone like synth combined with the lightly strummed guitar is enough to create this vibe. James singing is the cherry on top. He barely gets the words out of his mouth on this song and I had no idea what he was saying here. As the album continues James has some success with songs like “the ceiling” and the guitar led “the wall.”
There are a ton of great ideas on inanimate objects and James is about eighty percent there in how he implements them. For a debut LP this feels like a lot to ingest and I think it has to do with some of the molasses like energy that is on some of the songs coupled with a high track count. The LP may have been more effective at eight to ten tracks. Overall, this is a really impressive start and I am looking forward to see how this artist evolves.
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