As far as sensual indie singers go, James Bay is certainly at the top of the hierarchy. His voice has the perfect amount of pain and longing in it, and the instrumentals he makes are just as sweet. James Bay keeps things sensual in Electric Light, crooning with love and longing at every step.
There's something infectious about Electric Light, and it all lies in the production. Every sound in Electric Light is almost tangibly sweet, as if you could take a bite out of it and taste its candy flavor. Even the skits in 'Intro' and 'Interlude' add to that uncertain but good-intentioned idea of love Bay channels throughout the record. The awkward but warm tension in the interludes is channeled in the hopeful 'Us' and the accepting embrace of 'Just For Tonight.' Other songs hit upon the action of love itself, the dreamy, funky 'Pink Lemonade' with its 70's swagger and the tantalizing nature of 'Wasted On Each Other' digging right into it.
The magic James Bay puts into his music also adds to the beauty of it. There's a true essence of lust throughout the record. He bares his soul in 'In My Head,' while his want for adventure with someone comes out in 'Wanderlust.' The romance of 'I Found You' paints a very sweet picture of his more tame desires as well. 'Stand Up' may be the emotional centerpiece of the record, its constantly changing delivery leading into a beautiful build that climaxes epically, as if uncertainty turns to conviction as the song progresses. Closing track 'Slide' ends the record on a sobering note, the chorus sadly accepting, "In disguise, we get a little better at controlling ourselves around midnight / But then we slide into the arms of some, someone else."
James Bay keeps things sensual in Electric Light, baring all his lust and dreams into his music. Electric Light is the album for a rundown love, in need of being rekindled and perhaps not meant to be, but regardless someone can't help but hold onto. It's tragic, but its beautiful all the same.
Favorite Tracks: Stand Up, Slide, Pink Lemonade, Wild Love
Least Favorite Track: Wanderlust
Rating: 78 / 100
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